Enhanced Recycling Program in Somersworth, NH

By Liz Wilson, Chair of the Somersworth Sustainability Committee

The City of Somersworth strives to be a leader in sustainability.  As the Somersworth Sustainability Committee, we recognized that there were significant opportunities to improve access to recycling in public spaces within the city and lead by example.  City residents visiting public buildings and spaces had no place to put recyclable materials.  At public meetings and other programs that take place in the City Council Chambers, guests often bring in a bottle of water or soda, but there were no recycling receptacles or any information regarding how to recycle these items in City Hall. Invariably, guests threw recyclables into the trash bins.  Additionally, high traffic sports fields lacked recycling receptacles.

With a Community Catalyst Fund grant, the Committee was able to purchase four new recycling receptacles for City Hall and sports fields.  Within just a few days of placing the receptacles, city staff and residents noticed significant use of the receptacles in City Hall.   Because the high school sports fields won’t be used until the fall, the Committee decided that the two outdoor receptacles will be rotated between popular parks and sports fields.

The Clean Air-Cool Planet grant is also helping the Committee to purchase a traveling display to educate the public on what can be recycled, what can be composted, how to reduce waste, and final waste disposal at the landfill.  The display board will debut at the annual Somersworth Children’s Festival in June 2012, a widely attended city event.  After the festival, the display will rotate between the public library, City Hall, and the schools along with supplemental educational materials.

Thanks Clean Air-Cool Planet.  You helped us implement a much needed enhancement of the recycling program in Somersworth public spaces!

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