Message from Mayor Mayberry: Upcoming Changes to Recycling
4/30/2020 8:01:02 AM
In Oxford, for the past few years we have been able to recycle film plastic (plastic bags and stretchy plastic film) and styro-foam food containers. This ability ends this week as the county’s new recycling contract doesn’t allow for either of these products. The inability is a result of two issues. One, a lack of market for the recycled product and two, the fact that the material collected for recycling was contaminated with non acceptable material (food wastes, other forms of plastics, etc).
Given our inability to now collect these products for recycling, this leaves us with three choices. One, we put this material in the landfill where it might decompose over the next few hundred years, or two, we actively seek another market for the product which may need to include burning or three we look for alternatives to our current addiction to these materials. The wisest solution is to not create the problem in the first place, so we all need to find alternates to single use plastic in every form. This will not happen by the end of this week, so for the short term the film plastics and styro-foam will end up in landfill if we continue to use it.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, many stores are requesting shoppers to not bring re-useable bags into the store (I find that strange since the bag is probably less likely than the shopper to be a carrier of COVID-19). Being respectful of the stores desire to promote their policy, recently I left my re-useable bags in the car and took the cart out to the parking lot to fill the bags in my car. Yes I returned the cart, and yes it took a few extra seconds, but it worked just fine.
As Mayor, in the past week I have had two citizens raise the question of “what are you going to do about it” - the inability to recycle our plastic bags and stryofoam trays? My answer is “I’m going to avoid using them as much as possible; now, what are you going to do about it?“ The challenge of how to reduce our impact on this fragile planet belongs to ALL of us, and everyone must be held accountable and do their part.
Mayor David Mayberry