Single Stream Recycling (It’s Wacky Wednesday!)

Hey everybody, it’s Wacky Wednesday here on SBTC! Wacky Wednesday will be a random and ongoing series on the blog, similar to Conspiracy Thursday and Nonsense Friday. Wacky Wednesday is when I ask a wacky question about a current topic from the City Council meeting the night before. Today’s topic is SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING.

Hot off the press and from last nights City Council meeting: our city has just announced a transition to Single Stream Recycling, which means starting January 1st you no longer have to sort your papers from plastics and whatnot. It will be a much easier experience, so now you have no excuse not to recycle. (see the city press release below the break)


I’m actually really happy about this because my household recycles a lot and I’m always scrambling on day of pickup sorting all my junk.

So here is my Wacky Wednesday Question: Since recycling is now streamlined, does this mean all those enormous green corner receptacles will be upgraded to ones with a smaller foot print? I mean, there are some that you can’t even get around because they are so big.  And since we are on the subject,(oh a Wacky Wednesday extra!) why are these green corner receptacles still next to standalone garbage cans? 

What we have:


Streamlined recycling means less bins! Let’s have less less confusing green corners!So maybe people will actually use them!

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The City of Long Beach is proud to announce that starting in January 2015 we are transitioning to Single Stream Recycling, an easier, more efficient, and environmentally friendly recycling method!

Our City by the Sea will be one of the first communities in Nassau County to begin this innovative program, in which all your recycling will be collected at one time in a single bin. Single Stream Recycling will make it as easy to use a recycling bin as it is to use a garbage can, removing any excuse for not recycling. No longer will residents need to have two separate recycling bins for paper and containers.

The City will supply, free of charge, a new recycling container, which can be used for all of your recyclables.

Besides the obvious benefits to the environment, by reusing and not burning or disposing a large amount of waste into a landfill, Single Stream Recycling has other benefits as well…

Recycling Saves Taxpayer Dollars by Reducing Costs & Lowering Expenses

It costs the City $87.84 per ton when garbage is taken to a landfill, versus $2.25 per ton of waste that is recycled. By making recycling easier, the percentage of waste which is recycled should increase from the current level of approximately 10%, saving the City significant money in sanitation costs.

The recycling yard will no longer be filled with unsightly material, as the recycling will be transported directly to the transfer station.

City vehicles and equipment can now be redeployed elsewhere.

In addition to the standard recyclables, (please see the attached flyer for a full list of recyclable material) items, such as old patio furniture, will now be eligible for collection by the Sanitation Department. [LINK]

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2 thoughts on “Single Stream Recycling (It’s Wacky Wednesday!)”

  1. I would be very interested in the details. Single stream has some advantages but in many ways it is a step backwards. Items such as used cardboard, paper, glass and plastic can be sold by the ton after collected by the city. Many municipalities are able to generate revenue this way. Without separation you wind up with more contamination and the city may lose its ability to market what it collects (if it ever did). The city may even have to pay more to whatever company ends up processing the mixed material.

  2. And don’t let them fool you about it being more eco-friendly. While it may attract more people overall to choose join our recycling program, it also facilitates carelessness. If people are indiscriminately throwing things in the recycle that shouldn’t be going in there you end up with more contamination and a less marketable product. What cant be sold goes to the landfill. Remember our recyclables are a resource and single streaming significantly reduces its value.

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