Imagine how easy recycling could be if all materials were placed in the same container.

Imagination became reality Oct. 4 for the occupants of two buildings at Natick Soldier Systems Center, the first at NSSC to convert to "single-stream recycling" during a 90-day trial run.

In this enhanced recycling effort, all materials - cans, bottles, plastic, paper and cardboard - will be collected in one container. The days of sorting before recycling are numbered at NSSC.

"People will not have to segregate," said Richard Valcourt of the U.S. Army Garrison-Natick Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Health Office, "just one container, one receptacle, for all recyclable materials."

The trial run includes Buildings 1 and 45, and it will help refine the process for the rest of NSSC.

"It's only the trial period, and we try to emphasize that," Valcourt said.

Collection areas with 65-gallon and 96-gallon recycling containers were established. Building 1 has seven; Building 45 has three. The containers will be emptied at least once a week.

"Everybody will receive a 7-gallon container, and that's going to be their personal recycling container," Valcourt said. "It's going to be the individual's responsibility to recycle and to bring the recyclable materials to the collection area."

The hope is to keep even more of NSSC's waste out of landfills. According to Valcourt, the post currently diverts approximately 40 percent of its waste stream.

"Our goal is to achieve 50 percent by the year 2015," Valcourt said.

To the paper and cardboard that were already being recycled, cans, glass and plastic were added. A single-stream program was chosen because of its simplicity.

"The easier it is for an individual to recycle," said Valcourt, "the easier it's going to take off."


Aca,!Ac Cans - aluminum, tin, steel, bi-metal, jar lids

Aca,!Ac Plastics - all containers marked 1 through 7

Aca,!Ac Glass - rinsed food containers, beverage containers

Aca,!Ac Paper - newspaper, cardboard (flattened), paper products, paperback/telephone books, magazines, shredded paper (with bag)


Aca,!Ac Mirrors

Aca,!Ac Light bulbs

Aca,!Ac Styrofoam

Aca,!Ac Plastic bags

Aca,!Ac Ceramics

Aca,!Ac Window glass

Aca,!Ac Food

Aca,!Ac Food-contaminated materials