How it works:
Founded in 1991, the Unity Area Regional Recycling Center is non-profit recycling organization formed to divert recyclable material from the solid waste stream, and owned by eight member towns. These towns are Dixmont, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, and Unity.
The UARRC sorts, processes, and ships to market the recycled product produced by these towns to divert recyclable material from the waste stream and divert the cost of waste removal from our service area.
Our goal is to reduce the amount of trash entering the solid waste stream. We accept all Universal Hazardous Waste (electronics, batteries, smoke detectors, mercury-containing devices, just to name a few). See ourProducts page for more detailed information on accepted materials.
The UARRC is open to residents of our member towns at no additional cost. Non-residents may purchase a yearly pass to participate in recycling at the UARRC for $30.
The Center welcomes volunteers. We ask for a minimum of 2 hours per commitment. Volunteers should be in reasonably fit shape, able to lift potentially heavy items, and work safely and efficiently in a semi-industrial setting. Volunteers are expected to dress appropriately for the weather, with solid footwear. Personal safety equipment, such as work gloves and eye/ear protection, are provided by the Center. Please call us for more information.
Recyclable material is diverted to the UARRC from our member communities. All material is sorted and loaded by hand and compressed in vertical balers. These bales weigh from 600lbs to 1400lbs depending on the material type. The processed recyclable material then becomes a marketable commodity and is sold to mills and/or manufacturers that use the material to produce new products. When consumbers purchase items that are made from recycled material, a demand is created for these recyclable commodities.
When recyclable commodity demand increases, so does the price-to-market for these items (supply and demand). The revenue generated by marketing these commodities offsets the member town's cost to operate the UARRC.
More recyclable material = more revenue = greater offset. Recycling, unfortunately, is not free, but is a responsible approach for every town's solid waste management plan. Recycling creates jobs, conserves natural resources, and diverts part of the solid waste stream that would otherwise be simply thrown away, with no potential return to our communities.
Though all recyclable material has monetary value, some materials bring in more revenue than others. As an example, the hierarchy of monetary value, from most to least, is as follows: (Follow the links on each item to be directed to our Product page for further details on these items)
Aluminum: Consistently a high revenue item, but is a relatively light product.
#2 natural plastics, #2 colored plastics: Though fairly light in weight, packs the biggest revenue punch per pound.
#2 & #4 plastic stretch films: Light, easy to process, very high revenue.
Sorted White Office Paper: A middle-of-the-road commodity. These prices stay fairly steady over time.
Steel cans: A very common, relatively heavy commodity; steady market prices are the norm for steel cans.
Corrugated cardboard: One of the most recycled commodities we receive, with steady prices.
Newspaper: With the advent of the internet, the demand for newspaper is slowly declining. These prices for newspaper has declined slowly with the market demand.
Mixed paper (non-corrugated paperboard): The most common paper product we process. Also the lowest revenue prices due to its abundance in the market. Most paper products contain mixed paper in some degree. Though the least valued per ton product, it is no less important to recycle.
Refer to the Products page for the full list of accepted recyclable material.
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