Glen Cove collected 28 percent more recyclable materials in the first 60 days of its single-container recycling program than it had during the same time last year, city officials announced Thursday.
Since Aug. 3, residents have been able to throw their recyclable items into one container. In the past, they had to sort recyclables into three batches for weekly pickup. The "single-stream" system also allows residents to put some items previously destined for the garbage can -- such as cereal boxes, junk mail and aluminum foil -- in the recycling bin.
Will Flower, spokesman for Westbury-based Winter Bros. Waste Systems, which buys Glen Cove's recyclables, said the city's big spike in recycling is typical for municipalities that switch to single-stream. "Single-stream makes it easier for consumers to participate in recycling programs," Flower said.
Winter Bros. has a three-year contract with the city in which it pays Glen Cove $5.05 per ton of recyclable material.
City public works director James Byrne predicts the increase in recyclables will save the city tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars each year because materials that Glen Cove would in the past have paid to have hauled away as trash will instead earn the city money as recyclables.
The Town of Brookhaven saved $450,000 through single-stream recycling in 2014, the first year it had the program, town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said earlier this year.
Glen Cove has spread the word about the single-container program through direct mail in English and Spanish, a bilingual video on the city website, booths at community events and other ways, Byrne said. An outreach to schools is planned.
The City Council approved the single-stream system in July, adding Glen Cove to the growing list of Long Island municipalities with the program.
Single-stream recycling has gained in popularity in recent years as the technology for separating different types of recyclables has improved, Brenda Pulley, senior vice president for recycling for Stamford, Connecticut-based nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, said in a July interview.