Letter to the editor: Rinse, sort and do not crush returnables

Posted:  Monday, July 10, 2017 - 2:15pm

To the citizens of MidCoast Solid Waste: Separating your generously donated bottles and cans is the Camden Lions Club's biggest fundraiser and proceeds go to fund scholarships for our area youth, the CRMS Japan exchange program,Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, help to purchase eyeglasses, and give donations to worthy causes such as Hospitality House, Good Shepard Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Window Dressers, Life Flight of Maine and guide dog programs just to name a few.

But! Did you know that crushed cans and plastic water bottles cannot be redeemed?

That your plastic gallon milk containers and ANY container with ANY dairy product must go in the plastics bins and are not redeemable?

That your olive oil bottles, canned vegetable cans, plastic food containers (etc, etc) are also not redeemable and should be thrown in the plastic, tin and glass bins?

That bottles and cans dropped off still with product in them attract flies and have to be poured out?

These are just some of the irregularities that the Camden Lions encounters on Thursdays and Saturdays as they spend volunteer time separating generously donated redeemable bottles and cans.

Plastic water bottles with labels removed and bottles and cans crushed to reduce your bulk are not accepted because returnables are reimbursed by overall bulk and then two things happen: One, they end up in the landfill and two, it is depriving our community of potential funds for projects for the needy and college scholarships for your kids.

Determined Lions make every effort to "uncrush" the cans (not always possible), pour out your remaining soda and throw out the odd bits of trash but this adds more time to the sorting process.

Your assistance with the rinsing, sorting and not crushing of plastics and cans will be most appreciated by the Camden Lions who are already extremely grateful for your donations of redeemables. You will be helping to contribute to many worthy causes in our community.

We all need to take responsibility for our planet and thus need to be mindful of what goes where, what is redeemable or not, sort our waste accordingly and keep unnecessary items out of the landfill. Your cooperation and generosity are greatly appreciated.

Jan Kelsey, on behalf of Camden Lions Club