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Single-stream recycling makes recycling easy and convenient.

Springfield Environmental Commission presents a look at our new recycling system and why single-stream was chosen.

While most of you have been recycling for quite some time now, single-stream recycling might be a new concept.

 Just one bin is used for all recyclables.

 By using one bin for all recyclables  the ease and convenience of recycling is increased. All of the sorting that you did in the past will now be done by the recycling company. This means that more people will participate and more resources will be saved.  We’re making recycling easier for you.

Single-stream recycling offers more efficient collections. In the past the haulers normally had to run two recycling routes.  Now they will just run one. This decreases the costly part of the recycling program as well as decreases the pollution from the vehicles.

 One of the concerns about single-stream recycling is that one bin encourages people to put more than recyclables in it.  That’s why we need YOU— our educated conscientious recyclers to help make this new recycling method a success.

We ask that you continue to do your part to empty and rinse all of your containers to keep food contamination out of your bin. Please use the DPW’s chart on what can be recycled. Perhaps post the allowable recycling materials in your house near your bins to make the process easier for you, your family and your guests. If your neighbors are confused, help them.

Other communities have found that 50-70% of their waste has been diverted from landfills in part by switching to single-stream recycling.  Some notable cities include Denver, Tucson, Philadelphia and Dallas. 

Trash collection will now be once a week.  If you tend to have a lot of trash, take a look and see how much of that can be recycled.  You might just surprise yourself.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Hortense Dias January 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Thank you do much Faith! Composting is another great way to reduce our garbage: How to Get Started Choose a container that’s made of wood (or some other sturdy material) and no smaller than three by three feet. Place it in your yard in a shady spot with good drainage. Start adding waste in a ratio of three “browns” to one “green.” Browns are carbon-rich materials and include wood chips, straw, branches, and leaves. Greens provide nitrogen and include grass clippings and kitchen scraps, like eggshells and carrot tops. When you’re adding new material, Oshins suggests, dig a hole in the pile and stir the new stuff in so it gets coated with the old mixture. http://www.realsimple.com/m/home-organizing/green-living/how-to-compost-00000000021888/index.html
BART FRAENKEL January 22, 2013 at 03:13 PM
I understand that many people are upset with the recent change to a single day of garbage pickup. I agree with Faith that if you really try to recycle under the single stream method you might be surprised by how much can be recycled.
Matt January 26, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Does anyone know if you can put shredded paper in the single stream? If so, should I just dump it in the recycling can or put it in a plastic bag? What about books?
Faith Racusin January 26, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Matt, You can put it in with your recycling. Here is more info on that, though: http://earth911.com/news/2011/04/19/is-shredded-paper-recyclable/ As for books: I am checking on this with our town because not all towns accept recycled books. They have adhesives for binding which makes it difficult. I will reply with that answer as soon as I have one myself.
Matt January 27, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Thanks Faith!
Faith Racusin January 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM
It has been confirmed through DPW that both paperback and hardcover books may be recycled with your normal recycling.
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