Recycling in Brookhaven just got a little easier thanks to a new program that will begin on Jan. 4.
The new single-stream recycling program allows residents to combine their paper and co-mingled items into one container, with no sorting required. The town has also expanded its program to include plastics #3 to #7, which include items like yogurt and milk containers. Currently only plastics #1 and #2 are recycled. According to the the town, an upgrade to the existing facility will allow 50,000 tons to be sorted daily. The current materials recycling facility separates approximately 15,000 tons of paper, 9,000 tons of co-mingled (bottles, cans and plastics) recyclables from the residential waste stream.
Under the current program, residents would have to alternate cans with paper for pick-ups on Wednesday. The new program allows those products to be combined in one container that will be picked up every Wednesday. According to the town, all plastic can now be recycled except for plastic bags. A list of all materials that can be recycled under the new program can be found here.
Residents can use their existing “Curby” can or purchase a new “Curby” can at Town Hall or at the Brookhaven Landfill or can pick up a free “Curby” sticker to place on their own recycling receptacles.
The program will kick-off with a special weekend pick-up this Saturday. According to the town, the special pick-up became necessary since the holidays interfered with this year’s schedule.
For every ton that gets recycled the gets about $20, according to Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine.
"For every ton we recycle that we don’t have to send out to be burned at $105 per ton it is a savings. It is a serendipitous moment, good for the environment and good for the taxpayers," he said.
A copy of the 2014 pic-up schedule can be seen here.
Single-stream recycling has been implemented in several communities throughout New York, but according to the town, Brookhaven is the first on Long Island.
“I ask that everyone do their part and make recycling their New Year’s resolution,” said Romaine in a statement. “Single-stream is easier for residents. It will help increase their recycling efforts since they won’t have to spend time sorting or need to remember what gets picked up for recycling before they put the container out to the curb. I expect our recycling to increase and that’s good for the environment and good for the Town.”