Recycling Center History
More than 25 years ago, the Town of New Milford opened the first Recycling Center in the area. Originally an unpaved, one-man operation, the Center has expanded dramatically not only to keep up with modern practices but to offer conveniences and services “above and beyond.”
Usage of the Center has also increased dramatically as programs are added and, today, it is staffed by two Town employees and “recycling” now includes not only the mandatory recyclables such as “Single Stream” items but bulky waste, household trash, metal, tires, waste oil, office paper, mattresses and “E-Waste.”
“Single Stream” is a collection system in which recyclables are fully commingled, mixing fiber materials such as paper and cardboard with food containers such as glass bottles, metal cans and plastics. This makes recycling much easier for people at home because these items no longer have to be sorted. The Single System was such a success that a second container was added for this purpose.
“E-Waste” is defined as computers, printers and televisions but these are only part of the consumer electronics waste stream that includes VCRs, radios and cell phones, all of which are accepted at the Center.
For many years, the Center was not financially self-sustaining. As a result of committee input and management focus, costs have been reduced and efficiencies adopted so that it is now self-sustaining. One contributing factor is that the Town now owns many of its containers and compactors. This has reduced rental fees and has significantly reduced the costs of hauling household trash, bulky waste and single stream.
The recycling business evolves on almost a daily basis. The Town is a Member of a regional organization, the Housatonic Resource and Recovery Authority (“HRRA”) that, among other things, helps identify new programs.