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New bins prove effective for recycling during events

Date: 3/20/2012

March 21, 2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

HOLYOKE —Parade weekend in Holyoke seemed to be a logical time —with the bottles and cans the festivities generate —to launch a new recycling effort in the city.

Last week, Mayor Alex Morse announced the city would place 20 large bins for recyclable materials at a block festival at High, Hampden and Maple streets for bottles and cans and these bins would make a repeat appearance every time there is a special event in the city.

Morse said to Reminder Publications, "Holyoke has the best recycling rate in Western Massachusetts and this is just another advancement."

The more the city recycles the greater revenues it earns, he added.

William D. Fuqua, general superintendent of the Department of Public Works, said the new bins were "used well" by people during the road race and parade on March 17 and 18.

He added the city works with small businesses on recycling and there is a "growing business sector" to the recycling efforts. He said most of the material is cardboard and paper and the collection by the city benefits both parties: businesses lower their waste fees and the city receives money for the material.

Fuqua said that efforts to create recycling programs for apartment buildings have been more of a "challenge." While the city will give a building enough bins for tenants, there needs to be someone on site who is responsible for the collection of the bins and placing the material into a larger rolling barrel. So far, finding building managers to do so has been problematic.

Morse said he would like to see an on-going effort with the Holyoke Housing Authority and landlords to set up recycling programs.

"We need to do a better job," he said.

Morse added that he is asking Holyoke residents to call on State Sen. Michael Knapik and State Rep. Michael Kane to support the expanded bottle bill legislation that would include containers from non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks.

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