Many of Wayland's public spaces and ball fields are showing some new colors. Blue, to be exact, in the form of a new recycling bin next to the existing green trash bins.
The new bins have replaced the old "buddy bins," the wire mesh containers for bottles and cans that former middle schoool teacher Pat Conaway installed and has been emptying for the past couple of years.
Last August, the Wayland Green Team, along with Conaway, began working with Wayland's Board of Public Works to find a permanent recycling solution more efficient than Conaway emptying the buddy bins into his trailer and carrying the load to the Wayland Transfer Station.
“I'm trying to nudge Wayland to get involved in this and get the town DPW to take some responsibility,” Conaway told BoPW members last August. “I do feel that communities … we need to get going on this.”
Until early this year, no clear plan or budget existed for the bins, which both the Department of Public Works and the BoPW acknowledged was an important one to pursue.
Then, in early May, DPW Director Don Ouellette learned that Wayland's Highway Department would receive a $20,000 grant from the state related to Tropical Storm Irene. A portion of that money could go to the new bins.
Ouellette approached the Recreation Department about splitting the cost -- about $7,500 -- to purchase 100 recycling bins. Recreation Director Nancy McShea agreed and the order was placed.
“No community comes close to Natick and now Wayland in terms of outdoor recycling at parks, fields, downtown areas," Conaway said in a press release. "A few weeks ago I counted 70 trash barrels on Boston Common, and not one recycle bin.”
Further easing the transition to the town handling the new recycling bins, was the switch to .
Senior Foreman Donnie Gladu said that the single stream system means picking up the recyclables around town has become much more efficient in terms of time and effort -- an important fact given that he handles the emptying of the bins himself.
Single stream recycling at the Wayland Transfer Station means that recyclables including cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, newspapers and cardboard can all go into the blue bins around town.
"The Green Team hopes that all baseball, soccer, softball, crew, football, track, cheerleading and lacrosse coaches will direct students and parents to use the new blue recycling toters," reads a Wayland Green Team press release. "Even better: bring reusable water bottles to the fields that can be refilled at the fountains or at home."