For years the town leaders of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts have been focused on creating a greener community for everyone. In 2019, they officially established a town Sustainability Committee to further their localized green efforts and better support the town. Their recycling program is one area that the town is focused on improving through resources, education, partnerships, and programming.

The town of Tyngsborough has had some trouble in the past with contaminated recycling. This issue came as a result of a misunderstanding about which items belong in a recycling bin. In response, the Sustainability Committee implemented a series of educational initiatives to combat the lack of information.

These initiatives include self-help resources such as links on their website to recycling quizzes to test how much you know about clean recycling. There are also guides to explain what clean recycling is and the consequences of contaminated recycling. Residents can also access waste reduction guides to help determine the proper way to dispose of or repurpose unwanted items.

For items that don’t belong in a recycling bin, there is a “Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory,” which helps residents find places near them that accept various reusable items that would contaminate their recycling, but don’t belong in the trash or compost.

In addition to online resources, the Tyngsborough Sustainability Committee created several events to educate residents about waste reduction and encourage participation.

To reduce the amount of plastic that ended up in residents’ recycling bins, contaminating the collection, the Committee participated in NexTrex, a program that helps turn plastic into building materials. For every 500 pounds of plastic film collected for the company, the town received a compostable park bench. As a result of the partnership, the town received 2 park benches!

The Sustainability Committee also started “Zero Waste Day,” a biannual event that allows residents to give various items, ranging from old eyeglasses to scrap metal, to different vendors who will repurpose the items instead of throwing them out.

In alignment with waste reduction goals, some town residents started a Facebook group called “Buy Nothing Tyngsborough,” which serves as a place for individuals to request items they need or give away items they no longer use. This encourages everyone to repurpose instead of discard.

The Tyngsborough Sustainability Committee plans to continue educating residents about clean recycling habits and promoting carbon footprint reduction. The Committee’s goal is to lower the town’s total waste by 3%.

To get involved in energy efficiency and make the town of Tyngsborough a greener place to live, sign up here for a no-cost Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment. Tyngsborough has partnered with HomeWorks Energy to help residents lower their energy costs year-round and spread the word about the benefits of home energy efficiency. Have questions? Call (781) 305-3319 and use referral code: TYNGSBOROUGH

Together we can make Tyngsborough cleaner and greener!