Phyllis Theermann

Waste reduction efforts should be our number one priority, re-using is number two, and recycling is the third option — so lets get it right!

Wellesley’s Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) was part of a story last Friday on Public Radio International’s The World.  You can listen to it here and learn how contaminated recycling compromises the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively sort materials into bales of marketable recyclable materials. This is especially true since China changed its policy, disrupting the global marketplace for mixed paper and mixed plastics.  This story will encourage you to rethink recycling.  When cardboard, cans and bottles are treated like real commodities, and not just trash, it can be worth some real money.

If you want to learn more about recycling in Wellesley, come to the League of Women Voter’s evening with the Wellesley RDF’s Superintendent, Jeff Azano-Brown, on January 31 at 7pm in the Chapel at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills.

Dessert will be served and the event is open to the public.

Now that this topic is on the brain:

– Consider ways to reduce waste this holiday season including wrapping gifts with re-usable gift wrapping  — similar to what Sustainable Wellesley did at last month’s Wellesley Marketplace (thanks again Kelly C).

– Read, borrow, and/or gift the book Zero Waste Home for ideas on creating less waste and less “stuff” to recycle!

– In an effort to reduce bag (paper or plastic) waste, Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission is reminding the public that January is Bring Your Own Bag month.

– Get you post-holiday mailboxes under control. Get rid of junk mail!

Phyllis Theermann

The League of Women Voters’ is hosting their Meet the Candidates Night on Thursday, March 1st from 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the Wakelin Room of the Wellesley Free Library.  The event promises to be a lively venue for voters to meet the candidates first-hand, hear their positions on issues of importance to the town, and pose questions directly to them.  Twenty-one candidates are running for eleven Town-wide offices, of which three – Town Clerk, Natural Resources Commission and School Committee – are contested. In addition, ninety-one candidates are running for Town Meeting with three contested Town Meeting precinct races.  The Meet & Greet reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a brief ceremony honoring retired elected officials and the formal Candidates Forum at 7:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Don’t forget that Wellesley’s town Election Day is Tuesday, March 6th, with polls open from 7:00AM – 8:00PM.   The deadline to register to vote in this year’s town election is Wednesday, February 14th. PLEASE NOTE – The polling place for Precinct H is now the Tolles Parsons Center, 500 Washington St.   Further election details are available through the Town Clerk and on the League of Women Voters of Wellesley website.

The League of Women Voters of Wellesley, a nonpartisan political organization, has been dedicated to encouraging active and informed participation in government in Wellesley for the last 80 years.  In sponsoring Meet the Candidates Night, it adheres to strict guidelines to assure a fair and impartial opportunity for all candidates to present their views.   Related League-sponsored events include “How to Run for Public Office”, Voter Registration Days at Wellesley High School and other venues, and Town Government Meet-Ups to bring elected officials together with their constituency to share ideas and concerns.  



Phyllis Theermann
Wellesley High School Student Getting Signatures

Wellesley High School Green Team Members Getting Signatures

Throughout September and October, Sustainable Wellesley and the League of Women Voters of Wellesley lead a joint petition drive to help put an updated bottle deposit question on the ballot in November 2014. Our two groups agreed to collect 1,000 signatures, and with the help of many other green groups in town, we blew past that goal and turned in almost 1,500 signatures! We were joined by volunteers from Friends of Brookside, Friends of Morse’s Pond, Temple Beth Elohim, Unitarian Universalists of Wellesley, the Village Church, and the students on the Wellesley High School Green Team. Lead by students Matthew Hornung and Korinna Garfield, the WHS Green Team collected 139 signatures from students who are registered to vote, faculty, administrators, and even drivers in the school carpool lane (see photo).

The ballot initiative proposes a five-cent deposit on single-serve bottles that contain non-carbonated drinks such as water, sports drinks, juices, and tea. The current bottle deposit law covers only carbonated beverage containers, and beer cans and bottles. By updating the law, Massachusetts is likely to see a dramatic increase in recycling rates. Currently 80 percent of the carbonated beverage bottles covered by the deposit law are recycled, but only about 20 percent of non-carbonated beverage bottles are being recycled. Statewide, we are consuming 1.3 billion non-carbonated beverages every year—enough to fill Fenway Park to the Monster seats, according to MASSPIRG.

Volunteers from the League of Women Voters, MASSPIRG, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Sierra Club have been gathering signatures statewide and thousands of petitions are now being reviewed and certified by town clerks. The certified petitions will then be submitted to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for review.