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Simplified Brookhaven Town recycling schedule considered
Plastics on the first Wednesday of the month, paper on the second Wednesday. Soon, Brookhaven residents might not have to remember complicated recycling schedules.
The town board is mulling a switch from dual-stream recycling, where residents must sort specific recyclables for assigned weeks, to single stream recycling where everything — paper, plastic, glass and aluminum — is collected every Wednesday.
Not only would the switch boost recycling rates in the town by at least 20 percent, consultant Ed Hubbard told the town board at Thursday’s work session, but the town also could make at least $750,000 a year through additional revenue and reduced transfer station fees.
Simplifying the recycling process is the key to boosting participation, said Hubbard of D&B Engineers and Architects.
“You don’t have to remember what day it is anymore,” he said.
To handle sorting recyclables, the town would need $6 million in renovations to its materials recovery facility in Brookhaven hamlet, Hubbard said.
ReCommunity, a North Carolina-based private contractor that has worked with the town’s recycling in the past, has agreed to pay the $6 million, though the town would need to pay for about $1 million in immediate renovations to the aging facility in the next two years, Hubbard said.
The switch also would mean the town can recycle more types of plastic, he said.
“There are no changes made to the current system except to tell the residents to put out their recycling,” Hubbard said.
Board members said the switch seemed to be good environmental policy and makes fiscal sense.
“All members on the board are in agreement to greenlight this project,” town Supervisor Edward Romaine said.
The next step is to analyze the town’s current recycling contract, and to draft a resolution for the board to vote on.