Join the Movement
Published in the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce 2019 Guide
Nantucket has introduced a fresh approach to reducing the impact of waste on our island home.
Welcome to beautiful Nantucket and thank you for doing your part to keep it pristine for future generations. Just like people in cities and towns all over the nation, the seasonal and year-round residents of Nantucket are doing a better job recycling and sorting waste. We invite our guests, to join us in reducing the impact of plastics and other non-recyclables and non-compostables into our waste stream.
This year on Nantucket, the island’s recycling and composting initiatives took a step forward with the addition of Graeme Durovich to the position of Recycling and Solid Waste Coordinator at the Town’s Department of Public Works. “I hope to assist Nantucket in continuing along its path of minimizing waste and more effectively and efficiently managing its waste streams. The goal is for all of us to continue enjoying living on this beautiful island, without diminishing that same experience for others.”
Nantucket’s Public Works and Health Departments and their partners at Waste Options Nantucket are working together to continually assess and improve their solid waste and recycling operations.
On Nantucket, recyclable (R) waste is collected, sorted, baled, and shipped off-island to commodity markets for revenue. This includes shipping boxes, plastic, and tin/aluminum. Glass is crushed and then reused onsite for haul road maintenance.
Compostable (C) waste is collected and sent through a large industrial composter. This process turns our food scraps and other compostable waste into nutrient-rich soil. Any non-compostable materials that are inadvertently tossed into the compostable stream, contaminate it and must be screened off and added to Nantucket’s landfill. If our compostable stream were 100% clean and free of non-compostable waste, nothing would be added to the landfill on Nantucket.
The remaining items in our waste stream that are neither recyclable nor compostable go in Non-Recyclable/Non-Compostable (NR/NC) Waste. This includes plastic bags, shrink wrap, and other film plastics; protein bar and candy wrappers; chip bags; straws and plastic cutlery; cleaning wipes; and all items made from a mix of materials including milk cartons, diapers, and Keurig cups.
Durovich and the team at the Department of Public Works and Public Health remind you that while properly sorting and disposing of our waste is one of the best ways to manage the waste that we create, we must also work to reduce the amount of waste we generate. Durovich hopes that Nantucket residents, visitors, and businesses will resist the unsustainable ease of single-use items and the generation of unnecessary waste that is simply sent ‘away,’ and instead turn to more sustainable options.
Here are some practical things islanders and visitors can do to actively support recycling and composting:
- Say no to plastic straws. Instead use glass, metal, or paper straws;
- Use your own water bottles – Nantucket has refilling stations all over the island;
- Be certain to sort waste into Recyclable (R), Compostables (C) and Non-Recyclable/Non-Compostables (NR/NC);
- Seek out and use the appropriate waste receptacles around Nantucket;
- Bring your own reusable bags when shopping;
- Skip the packaging, or request recyclable or compostable packaging for purchases;
- Support businesses who demonstrate best practices in the use of reusable glasses and cutlery;
- Think before you buy. Ask yourself, do I really need it?
With your help, Nantucket can become an island community leading the way in how it manages its waste streams. Join the movement to efficiently recycle and compost– it is a worthy goal for today and for the future.
Join our efforts to keep Nantucket clean, and consider volunteering your time with the Clean Team. They meet downtown at the Handlebar Cafe every Saturday at 8 am (rain or shine). For more information, please email Bill Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about Nantucket’s recycling efforts, please visit the Town of Nantucket’s website: www.nantucket-ma.gov/SolidWaste.