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Hawley couple among county’s top recyclers

Eggerts receive award for 12 years of putting recyclables in their place

Margaret and Henry Eggert of Hawley were named "Outstanding Recyclers of the Year" for their 12-year volunteer service of recycling at the Hawlemont Regional School. (Submitted Photo).

Margaret and Henry Eggert of Hawley were named "Outstanding Recyclers of the Year" for their 12-year volunteer service of recycling at the Hawlemont Regional School. (Submitted Photo).

HAWLEY — After a dozen years of hauling recyclables from Hawlemont Regional School to the transfer station, Margaret and Henry Eggert have been named “Outstanding Recyclers of the Year,” at a recent “celebration of recycling champions,” sponsored by the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility.

The Eggerts’ children were already grown-ups when the retired couple moved from Melrose to Hawley and volunteered to perform recycling tasks for the Charlemont-based elementary school.

According to Amy Donovan, program director of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, the Eggerts went to the school every Wednesday for 12 years, where they sorted recyclables from classroom bins, flattened cardboard boxes and hauled about six bins a week of recyclables to the Charlemont transfer station.

Donovan, who nominated the couple for the award, estimates they hauled about 3,000 recycling bins to the transfer station over that time.

“Schools in the Mohawk district are far from the Route 91 corridor and have traditionally struggled to identify affordable waste hauling services,” Donovan said. “The Eggerts do not work at the school and do not have children at the school. They are citizens who volunteer for the good of the earth, the school and the community. Their volunteer efforts helped save the school money on trash disposal, boosted Charlemont’s recycling rate, and showed children the importance and achievability of recycling.”

Margaret Eggert describes herself as someone who has been known to “take home other people’s recycling” if she’s at a party and notices that the plastic is not being recycled.

“We always recycled in Melrose – where it was much easier,” she remarked.

The first years at Hawlemont, the Eggerts went to the classrooms to collect bins of recyclables, but then the children started bringing their classroom bins to the Eggerts, in the cafeteria. “The kids have always been really cooperative and helpful,” she said. “The teachers have a compost pile there as well — and (the school) has an enviable garden. The kids are getting a very rounded education on recycling and composting.”

The Eggerts’ volunteer recycling work at Hawlemont ended this year, because the school has started “single-streaming” its recyclables through a service.

The plaque given to the Eggerts is for “outstanding efforts to support local recycling programs.”

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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