The Unity Area Regional Recycling Center is a nonprofit recycling organization dedicated to diverting and properly processing recyclable material from the solid waste stream. The organization was founded in 1991 and today encompasses eight towns: Dixmont, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Montville, Thorndike, Troy and Unity. People outside this jurisdiction may also use the center with a $30 annual pass.

Though the items brought to the center are compressed and sold, this does not cover the full cost of operation. The remainder of the cost is made up of tax money compiled from the eight towns. Though it is not ideal to use tax money to cover the recycling center’s costs, sending more waste to landfills also costs the towns tax money, as well as wasting space and causing other environmental impacts. Each town gets credit according to the amount they recycle.

To ensure the recycling stream is not contaminated, there are several simple things you can do. Make sure to deposit materials in the correct container. Batteries were recently deposited in the paper bin, which would have caused a fire hazard if compressed. People have also deposited aluminum cans in the steel container and vice versa. You can check which is which by seeing if the cans stick to a magnet which is always provided at the center. Steel will stick, aluminum will not.

It is also important to keep paper and cardboard in good condition, since if they are damaged they will be worth less. The recycling center is now taking glass and you are encouraged to bring it. The worth of newspapers has gone up; it is helpful to bundle the newspapers separately from other paper.

Most residents do quite well with all these things; contamination issues are not widespread. Thank you to the UARRC and Robert Price for providing information for this column. See for more details and recycling tips.


Those interested can join a Zoom meeting, “What Is Community Solar,” on Wednesday,  Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. See more information and get the link at