Letter to the Editor: Help the Baileys Harbor Green Site

In recent years, Baileys Harbor has been fortunate to have access to the Green Site facility, which promotes recycling and provides a place to take compostable yard waste. Our Baileys Harbor maintenance crew has done an amazing job of caring for the Green Site – many thanks! And, because it always looks so good out there, it would be easy to think that all is well. Actually, it’s not. 

I guess this could be considered a failed honor-system experiment. The facility is open 24/7, and signage clearly states what is and is not recyclable. Sadly, there are people who misuse the facility, leaving refrigerators, appliances, toilets, carpeting, furniture and more – the list is long. People also leave bags of garbage. 

People who have not educated themselves about proper recycling techniques may not know that bins of recycling that are contaminated simply end up in a landfill. Baileys Harbor incurs frequent, sizable expenses to remove unacceptable items and pays fees to dispose of garbage, plus this takes hours away from our already busy maintenance staff. 

We really need to do better. We on the Town Board are looking for the best way to improve this situation, and while we search for answers, I encourage everyone to improve their recycling practices. To start:

• Do not put recyclable items in plastic bags because the bags are not part of single-stream recycling. Some stores have collection bins for plastic bags. 

• Make recyclable items as clean as possible. Greasy pizza boxes are not okay. 

• Flatten cardboard boxes. 

• When in doubt, throw it out. There’s a lot of information online if you want to do some research. 

• Read the informational signs posted at the Green Site. 

• Some local businesses such as Baileys 57 accept bags of garbage for a fee. Thanks for that!

I simply love being a part of this community and am thankful on a daily basis for all of you. We are all better together. 

Roberta Thelen 

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin