To the editor:

One of the important benefits of the Fanwood Recycling Center is that the funds we put into it stay here in our town. Curbside recycling will effectively take money out of our town and send it to an outside contractor. A town that prides itself on being family-friendly and progressive should prefer to use its resources to help ourselves rather than outside entities.

Among the things I love about living in Fanwood (and across the street from Scotch Plains) is our community volunteerism: scouts, church groups, sports leagues, service organizations, town commissions, fire and rescue squads – the things that make our towns special are all propelled by volunteers. The Recycling Center helps support those community organizations, allowing us to comply with state law on recycling while keeping resources here in town.

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A tax increase to fund the Recycling Center would be less per household than a new curbside contractor’s invoice sent to each household. Moreover, the center’s need for tax support may decrease as commodity markets fluctuate, while a contractor’s invoices will only ever increase. Finally, the Recycling Center keeps our money here in town rather than sending it to an outside contractor. The funds available to support community groups may vary depending on market prices for recyclables but will stay available in our towns rather than going  into the pockets of an outside corporation.

Perhaps a compromise solution would be to allow families who prefer curbside pickup to contract separately with a contractor. Yes, they would still support the Recycling Center with their taxes, just as families who choose to send their children to private schools also pay taxes supporting the public schools. This approach would allow those who prefer convenience to pay for it, while those of us who prefer to keep our money here in town can continue to support the Recycling Center.

We already enrich outside corporations every month for our electricity, gas, phone service, garbage pickups, and more. Let’s keep some of our families’ money here in Fanwood.

Sincerely,

Julie Murphy
Fanwood Volunteer