Recycle Our Waste Lewistown is back in business

Miriam Campan
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Rosemary Kent promotes the recycling of plastics in an effort to provide one small solution to the critical issue of plastic waste disposal.
Photo by Miriam Campan

It took a single phone call for Recycle Our Waste Lewistown organizer Rosemary Kent to get the center operational and accepting plastics once again. Kent called Earth First Aid in Billings (which provides curbside recycling to Billings residents), and they were happy to help out.
“Starting Oct. 1, ROWL volunteers will resume bailing the clear, clean number one bottles, jars and jugs along with number 2 translucent milk jugs, and the clear film (shrink wrap), as we previously had,” said Kent.
In mid-August, ROWL volunteers announced they would no longer be able to take plastics as Republic Services in Billings, which took the Lewistown area plastic for recycling, lost a lease and had to shut down its plastic recycling operations. Now, just a month later, Kent is pleased to announce the ROWL service is back up and running.
With ROWL accepting plastics once again, the call for donations and volunteers is needed now more than ever.
Kent said, “The critical question became, will we be able to continue the operation with no revenue, since Earth First will not pay us for the plastic we transport to Billings. That answer depends on the community of recyclers. We will need to rely on donations from those in the community to pay for the transporting of the plastic, among other operating expenses.”
As a non-profit, ROWL has been run over the past eight years solely by volunteers committed to improving the environment. On average, volunteers work in teams of four to five individuals and donate about five hours per month.
“Generally, recycling programs are paid for through fees assessed to users and are run for profit. Not only is ROWL free to everyone, but it provides clear plastic bags for the recycler’s use,” said Kent.
She added, “We can help control the plastic glut by using less single use plastic, reusing and recycling what we can.”
ROWL also provides recycling education for schools, organizations and churches. Along with the above-mentioned plastics, aluminum cans are also accepted at ROWL in an effort to raise funds for a 2021 class trip to Washington, D.C. for Kane Sramek.
ROWL is located on Lewis Lane off of the Truck By-pass is ready for plastic donations. For more information on ROWL call Rosemary Kent at 350-2283.