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Single Stream Recyling now in my City!

Updated on October 6, 2011

So this hub is going to be about a recycling program. It’s not a program that’s never been used before and some may think it’s over the top or not enough, but when I saw that four foot tall green recycling bin I got giddy! I know it sounds a little weird but when you have been trying to get your family to reduce waste for years, this new recycling bin was a sight for sore eyes! To reduce my family's waste I started a compost bin and had resorted to pulling recyclables out of the trash, dealing with a tiny 1.5 cubic foot bin for recycling for 6 people. The sight of that bulky, emerald bin was beautiful. My city is switching to a Single Stream Recycling Program, which is practiced in all the communities around us. This new program means that a recycling facility will separate our recyclables, allowing residents to recycle a more diverse group of household items! This is very exciting for me because before this you were limited to what was allowed in your small blue bin every two weeks! The new recycling bins are from a company named Toter Incorporated, based in North Carolina. Although the rumor is that it cost the city a hefty bill to buy these bins for each household, the fact that our city gets paid for recyclables and has to pay to get our trash remove will save us far more money.

What I like about this new program is that the bin can hold so much more than the old ones. The old bin, at least in my house, had been over flowing every week for years, which unfortunately resulted in some recyclables just being thrown out or blown down the street. Now with the bin being at least 4 times bigger, fitting recyclables in it should not be a problem. The other great aspect is that we can recycle more items; all the cereal boxes and egg cartons can go into this bin! This will reduce the trash not only for the city but also the amount of trash bags my family uses! I can’t wait to see how much we reduce our household trash between my compost bin in the backyard and the new recycling bin in the front!

a diagram that came with the new bin, showing what is now allowed in the bin
a diagram that came with the new bin, showing what is now allowed in the bin | Source

List of items that can be recycled!

1. newspapers

2. magazines, catalogs, white & colored paper

3. junk mail

4. milk & juice cartons, juice boxes

5. empty aerosol cans (non-toxic)

6. boxboard & paper egg cartons

7. all plastic containers #1, #2 under 3 gallons

8. Plastic food & beverage containers #3-#7 under 3 gallons

9. clean aluminum, steel, foil food trays, & cans

10. glass food & beverage containers

Although I’m practically in love with these new bins, I can see some problems with them as well. The biggest problem I have witnessed comes from the elderly, who believe the bins are way too big for them to carry out and even to fill up. Some have been turned off by this idea of pushing a big bin out every two weeks and have gone to the extreme of saying they’ll just stop recycling. I can see how the size of the bins can be a problem for the elderly, however with the size will come longer periods of time in which it will take them to fill it up, especially if they live alone. If it takes them longer to fill it up, maybe they only have to put the bin out six times a year, or every two months. Instead of carrying a blue bin with no wheels and handles that broke easily and recyclables filled to the brim out every two weeks, why not roll out a bin that is a little heavier every two months and save money on trash bags? I guess it’s just a change and not everyone is accustomed to change but for once I am enthusiastically excited about this new program and finally feel like we are going in the right direction for waste reduction!

Does your city/town have a recycling program?

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