Glen Cove has picked up 30 percent more recyclable materials in the first four months of its single-container recycling program than it had during the same period last year, city officials said.
The city has saved more than $10,000 since “single-stream” recycling began Aug. 3, said city Public Works director James Byrne. The city earns money for items put in the recycling containers but pays to have material in garbage cans hauled away.
Residents now can place all their recyclable items into one container. In the past, they had to sort recyclables into three batches. The single-stream program also added items such as junk mail and aluminum foil to the list of items accepted for recycling.
Mayor Reginald Spinello said at a Dec. 1 pre-council meeting that many residents still are not aware of the expansion of the recycling program.
“We need to do a little more education” in schools and other venues to increase the numbers further, he said.
Byrne said the city also will use social media and city holiday events to inform residents that holiday gift wrap, cardboard boxes and some types of old toys also can be recycled.
A number of other municipalities on Long Island have switched to single-stream recycling in recent years. The Town of Brookhaven saved $450,000 with single-stream recycling in 2014, the first year it had the program, town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said earlier this year.
— DAVID OLSON
The League of Women Voters of Smithtown plans to host a public information meeting on Dec. 10 about raising the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years old in New York and the role of money in politics.
The two-hour event, starting at 7 p.m. and held at the Nesconset Branch of the Smithtown Library, will be a facilitated discussion led by league members after a PowerPoint presentation reviewing basic facts on both issues, said Lisa Scott, a league board member. The Smithtown league is one of 50 leagues across the state probing both topics, she said.
Included in the discussion is the fact that New York is only one of two states – the other is North Carolina – that has no system whereby 16- and 17 year-olds who are accused of committing a crime can be kept out of adult jails and prisons, Scott said.
“Research shows that adolescents who are incarcerated in adult jails and prisons have higher suicide rates, victimization and rearrest rates than similar adolescents who are treated as juvenile offenders,” she said.
The money in politics presentation will tackle various issues, including those raised in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case that held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by nonprofit corporations.
“The Supreme Court now feels that the First Amendment rights of candidates to get their message out to the public could not be curtailed by limits on their spending,” said Scott. “Corporations have a First Amendment free speech right to make independent campaign expenditures just as individuals do, which is problematic because now people are seeing advertisements and they don’t know where the money came from. There is growing cynicism among U.S. voters based on the idea that democracy might be for sale.”
Scott said the event aims to raise public awareness of these topics, and encourage individual exploration, as well as help shape the league’s stance on the issues.
“We want to hear people’s opinions and points of view,” she said.
Those interested in attending should contact the library to register at 631-360-2480.
LAUREN R. HARRISON