Submitted by Anne Drake, Greenwich
I disagree with the characterization of Pay As You Throw, or PAYT, as “not for Greenwich.” (BASHAM: Tipping Fees – No Failure and No Regrets, Mike Basham, Feb 6, 2024) While our town has become more successful in its recycling efforts, the majority of residents still have little to no understanding of the importance of separately disposing of their food scraps, which compose almost a quarter of the waste stream.
Not only do food scraps add most of the weight to the garbage load (and therefore carting cost), the methane gas they emit in landfills is 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Further, burning millions of tons of wet food scraps decreases the efficiency of incinerators and contributes to air pollution.
PAYT is a good initiative, but Greenwich may not be ready for it. For one thing, the town needs to expand its food scrap recycling program and make this process easier and more accessible to residents.
Presently there are only three drop off sites in town – one at Holly Hill run by Public Works and the others at Living Hope Community Church in Old Greenwich and at Round Hill Community Church, which are managed by community volunteers.
While the state’s 60% reduction of municipal solid waste may seem like a lofty objective, with widespread food scrap recycling it is more achievable. The goals of Waste Free Greenwich are valid and deserve to be pursued.
Anne L. Drake, member of Waste Free Greenwich