Editorial: Local recycling event makes a bold statement

April 2, 2010

By Contributor

Newcastle residents and their nearby neighbors really know the meaning of the word “green.” They proved it when they recycled 346 carloads — nearly 18 tons — of materials at last month’s Newcastle Spring Recycling Collection Event.Garbage can be interesting, especially when you consider that so much of it will truly be recycled for reuse or made into an entirely new product.

For example, the 57 used tires that were dropped off will be retreaded if possible, or made into new products, like playground mats, road bedding or garden hoses. The 13 porcelain toilets and sinks will become concrete material. And the 200 gallons of used motor oil will be re-refined into new motor oil or reused as fuel. The 40 gallons of used antifreeze will also be recycled and made new again.

Goodwill Industries hauled away the 4,500 pounds of reusable household goods that will be resold at retail outlets, creating jobs and job training and benefiting local charities.

These days, appliances and electronics account for the bulk of any recycle collection day. Newcastle’s event was no different with more than nine tons coming in, including five refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners; three computer monitors; and six televisions. Some parts can be removed and reused, but hazardous chemicals and gases are removed and then sold for scrap metal.

Newcastle residents are smart enough to know that batteries shouldn’t just go out with the trash; they should be recycled. In addition to 55 car batteries, there were 3,730 household batteries brought in. They will be dismantled and the hazardous material disposed of properly.

Most people exchange their small empty propane tanks for a full one, but 15 were brought to the collection event. The tanks will be reused or recycled as scrap metal.

Many of these recyclables came in cardboard boxes, or just cardboard was brought in — 2,500 pounds worth!

Newcastle’s recycling event will return in the fall for a repeat performance. We have no doubt that it will be just as noteworthy, or maybe even better after the annual summer garage cleaning.

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