WELD — The town of Weld has received a small load of compost, signed, sealed and delivered by the Sandy River Recycling Association (SRRA) in recognition of the town’s recycling efforts.

“Our records indicate that Weld (population 423) increased its collection of recyclables by six tons, from 31.5 to 37.5 tons, between 2006 and 2007,” said SRRA Manager Ron Slater, adding, “That’s 12,000 pounds that didn’t go to a landfill; that’s 12,000 pounds the town didn’t have to pay a tipping fee to get rid of.”

The award delivered to the Weld transfer station is part of an attempt by the association to increase public awareness of the spiraling down in recycling tonnage by many of its 21-member towns in recent years.

“At the end of the second quarter in 2009, overall tonnage was down 293 tons from 2008,” said Slater. “Not only that, the prices for processed material is also down, but that shouldn’t stop us from recycling; they will rise again, as this is a cyclical business,” said Slater, noting that when the association began in 1991, the prices were lower than they are today.

The award of compost was also given to draw the public’s attention to the three year-old pilot compost pile that is “cooking” at the association’s home base in Farmington. Begun three years ago, it is fed from food waste scraps from the University of Maine at Farmington’s kitchen.

Judy Marden, who runs Weld’s transfer station, said the town will be using some of it for its garden in town but said there will enough left over for residents to dip lightly into the pile and take some home as a reminder to keep on recycling.

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