ROWL lives on through additional volunteers, community support

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sandy Mathews and Clint Loomis tie down a load of baled plastic, ready for recycling.

Photo courtesy of Rosemary Kent



The fate of Recycle Our Waste Lewistown was determined Monday evening at the Clint Loomis Gallery on Main Street. 

ROWL co-founder Rosemary Kent admits she was a little nervous about the meeting. 

She knew how much was at stake.

“The future of ROWL will be determined,” she wrote in an email August 19.

Judgment Day.

Kent said, at first, she wasn’t sure how the meeting would go. There were a few who voiced opinions about closing up shop for the winter, but such a short-term close could have long-term consequences. 

“If we closed up for the winter, that’d be the end of ROWL,” she said.

Kent just couldn’t have that. After six years, she didn’t want to see ROWL’s efforts to recycle plastic and provide recycling education go to waste.

Fortunately, she didn’t have to, as “almost everybody present voted to keep the program.”

“It was overwhelming,” Kent said. “

“We even had some new people come in to volunteer,” Kent said. “It gave me a lot of assurance the program will survive.”

Clint Loomis -—  one of those who considered closing ROWL for the winter — was very pleased with the show of support and is encouraged about the future of the organization.

“It was a positive meeting,” Loomis said. “I was especially glad to see some new faces.”

Having new volunteers such as Duane Ferdinand, Steve Hughes, Joy Martin and Kathleen Stanley means ROWL can continue to have strong teams bail plastic together.

“A full team consists of about four people,” said Kent. “We have to replace those volunteers leaving in the winter, and these additional volunteers should do that for us. We will go ahead and continue staying open 24/7 and bailing twice a week.”

Kent said she appreciates the public for helping ROWL continue to serve the community. 

“The public’s response to our program has been our driving force,” Kent said. “The volunteers have also done an excellent job keeping us going. It’s not the most pleasant work, but it’s our way of trying to make the world a little bit better.”

ROWL has two sheds on Lewis Lane (off the Truck Bypass) for community members to drop off their plastics and shrink-wrap.

Kent and Loomis both stress how important it is the public understands what is and is not recyclable before dropping off items at the sheds.

“The public must be respectful of the guidelines,” Kent said. “We don’t accept clamshell packaging and we don’t accept caps [bottle tops]. We also need items rinsed before they’re dropped off.”

“As long as people pay attention and keep up with the recycling rules, we’ll make this work,” Loomis added. 

For more information on ROWL, call Kent at (406) 350-2283 or go to the ROWL Facebook page. 



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