Keep Wilton Beautiful!

That’s a new rallying cry for town officials who have initiated an affiliate partnership with the organization Keep America Beautiful and a program that will roll out over the next several fall weeks. The effort will culminate in a town-wide participation in Keep America Beautiful’s America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. According to Sarah Gioffre, the coordinator of community affairs in Wilton’s office of the first selectwoman, there will be a series of recycling and clean-up initiatives that the town will implement between mid-October and Nov. 15.

This is the town’s first partnership with Keep America Beautiful, an arrangement that was pursued by Mike Conklin, Wilton’s director of environmental affairs.

During last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Gioffre outlined the events being planned by the town through the month.

The first event will be a “Household HazWaste Collection Day” on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Miller-Driscoll Elementary School (details below).

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Then, beginning the week of Oct. 15, town officials will kick off a Recycling ABCs campaign, to educate residents on the rules and programs for recycling in Connecticut, with “updated information and some helpful tools to help residents figure out what is recyclable and what is not.”

During the week of Oct. 22, the Environmental Affairs Department will introduce a program called “Litter Warriors,” to encourage residents to help with litter pick up. The department will give away free litter pickers–long handled claws that help a user pick-up litter–to the first 50 people who volunteer to pitch in, and can assign areas in need of clean-up. Residents may stop by the Environmental Affairs office anytime Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to pick up litter pickers. (For more information, call the Environmental Affairs office at 203.563.0180.)

“If you take a walk on the NRVT, or at your child’s lacrosse or soccer game, or walking your dog, you can take [the litter picker] with you and a garbage bag and pick up litter,” Gioffre explained, adding. “It’s an effort to help keep Wilton beautiful.”

First selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice recounted being on the Middlebrook School tennis courts over the weekend and noticing litter that had been left strewn about despite a garbage can being available. “I love that idea,” she said of providing litter pickers to volunteer residents.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the town will run an “e-waste recycling day,” to recycle electronic waste and hard drives. This will take place at Town Hall (238 Danbury Rd.) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and all items that are accepted will be disposed of free of charge. The event is co-sponsored by Take 2 Inc. and the Wilton Department of Public Works.

Take 2 will be on-site to unload vehicles and safely package and transport all e-waste to its Waterbury facility to be recycled.  Take 2 will also have their mobile hard drive shredder on-site. Hard drives should be removed from computers and laptops; Take 2 will not be able to remove hard drives from devices. Accepted materials include, but are not limited to:  computers, laptops, printers, fax machines, televisions, stereos, monitors, cell phones, tablets, video games, game consoles, VCR/DVD players, remotes, keyboards, small appliances, and light bulbs and batteries.  Unaccepted materials include: smoke detectors, ballasts, car batteries, propane tanks, paint, household hazardous waste, and appliances containing Freon (i.e., air conditioners, refrigerators and dehumidifiers). The collection is open and free to all Connecticut residents. Businesses may only bring loose hard drives for free shredding. For more information on the event, contact the Wilton Department of Public Works at 203.563.0152.  For more information about electronics recycling for businesses, contact Take 2 at 203.286.5757 or via email.

During the month-long program, residents will be encouraged to take a pledge to increase their own personal recycling efforts. The town will also host other family-friendly activities to encourage recycling and similar behaviors. Gioffre said other activities will be announced later in the program.

In addition, Wilton Schools, Wilton Go Green and the schools’ Zero Waste Initiative are coordinating activities during the same time period to complement efforts on the town side. They will be coordinating a “Zero Waste Education Week” during the week of Oct. 22, as well as holding a Zero Waste Coalition meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17 (7-9 p.m. at Middlebrook School). Another possible program that may be implemented as well is a “Skip the Straw Week,” to reduce consumption of plastic drinking straws.

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Gioffre said all component efforts will be tracked and documented for the town’s participation in the Sustainable CT program.

HazWaste Collection Day

Saturday, Oct. 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Miller-Driscoll School Parking Lot (217 Wolfpit Road)

The Wilton Conservation Commission will be sponsoring Wilton’s Annual HazWaste Collection Day on Saturday, Oct. 13. This event enables Wilton residents to safely dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste by bringing it to the collection where a certified hazardous waste contractor will provide appropriate and responsible disposal of the unwanted products.

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Nearly all households contain some household hazardous waste (HHW). HHW is generally defined as a household waste that is corrosive (such as acids and alkalis), flammable, reactive or toxic (poisonous). Common HHW includes paint thinners, pool chemicals, pesticides, mercury thermometers, and gasoline. When these products are no longer wanted or needed, they become hazardous waste and must be disposed of responsibly and safely so that they do not lead to personal injury and do not enter the food chain or contaminate drinking water supplies. Household hazardous waste collection programs provide an opportunity to manage these wastes in an environmentally safe manner.

Common household products that should not end up in our household trash and will be accepted at the event include:

Aerosol Cans (not empty)

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Antifreeze
Arts/Craft Supplies
Asphalt/Roof Sealer
Bathroom Cleaners
Brake Fluid
Chemical Fertilizers
Chemistry Kits
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Degreasers Disinfectants
Drain Cleaners
Fire Extinguishers

Flea Powders/Sprays
Floor Care Products
Fungicides
Furniture/Car Polish

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Gasoline
Hair Dyes & Sprays
Herbicides
Household Batteries
Insecticides/Pesticides
Kerosene
Metal Polish
Moth Balls

Nail Polish/Remover

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Oven Cleaners
Paint Strippers/Thinners
Photo Chemicals
Pool Chemicals
Rodent Poison
Solvents
Tile/Toilet Cleaners
Transmission Fluid

This event is for the collection of household hazardous waste only. Paint and electronics will not be accepted.

The collection is open to all Wilton residents, as well as residents of Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Stamford, Weston and Westport. Proof of residency (a driver’s license) is required. For more information, contact the Wilton Department of Environmental Affairs at 203.563.0180.

Update:  The program encouraging volunteers to help pick up garbage was misidentified in an earlier version of the article. It has been updated to reflect the correct name of the program, Litter Warriors. Other information has been added about other program events as well.