As a faithful recycler and junkie of the Transitional Shed at the Transfer Station, my house is filled with many great "finds." Too many.
According to information presented at the March 20 forum at Town Hall, when Townsend transitioned from a transfer station to curbside, the rate of recycling increased dramatically. Why? Only committed recyclers bother to sort trash and haul it to the Transfer Station.
Curbside pickup would be so convenient, recycling would increase, and it costs less in equipment, buildings and labor than the Transfer Station.
Let's solve the problem of loss of a gathering space by following Frank Maxant's suggestion to recycle the old fire station into a community center. Volunteers could staff a transitional room there for give and take. We could hold town-wide yard sales in spring and fall. Gently used household goods and furniture can be donated every October at an event hosted by our dedicated Recycling Committee, led by Laurie Sabol.
People could sign up for Groton Free Stuff at Yahoo Groups. Members donate and ask for specific items online. I'm writing this from a standing desk obtained quickly and for free through GrotonFreeStuff@yahoogroups.com. If you don't have a computer, I bet you could find one at Groton Free Stuff, with many Ayer members.
Imagine a community center with a coffee shop, operated by volunteers or an entrepreneur. It would be a communal gathering spot to replace the Transfer Station, heated in winter, monitored by volunteers, where we can share more than trash.
Ayer folks like traditions. Let's create a new tradition, and redirect the money from the Transfer Station to a real community center.