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Glen Cove City Council approves 'single-stream' recycling program

Glen Cove City Council members and city staff

Glen Cove City Council members and city staff discuss a proposed single-stream recycling program on Tuesday night, July 21, 2015, at City Hall. Credit: Newsday / David Olson

The city of Glen Cove last night joined a growing number of communities across the country in moving to single-container recycling, which boosters say increases recycling rates and reduces garbage-disposal costs.

The City Council voted 7-0 to adopt a "single-stream" system that no longer requires residents to separate their recyclables into three batches for weekly pickup. The program, which starts Monday, also expands the number of items that can be recycled.

"Ultimately this is going to be greener for the city, savings for the city -- there will be significant savings -- and it's really the right thing for the environment," Mayor Reginald Spinello said.

The council accepted a bid from Westbury-based Winter Bros. Waste Systems to pay the city $5.05 per ton of recyclable material. Glen Cove currently pays $70 a ton to get rid of waste. The agreement with Winter Bros. is for three years.

Glen Cove officials say they hope to save tens of thousands of dollars by earning money for recyclable material that the city otherwise would pay to haul away as garbage.

Brookhaven saved $450,000 through single-stream recycling in 2014, the first year the town had the program, said Town Supervisor Edward Romaine. The amount of recyclable material collected rose 24 percent, largely because it became more convenient for residents, he said.

The towns of Huntington, Smithtown and Southold, the City of Long Beach and several Long Island villages also have switched to single-stream recycling in recent years.

Better technology for sorting different types of recyclables has helped lead to an increase in single-stream programs nationwide, said Brenda Pulley of Keep America Beautiful, a Stamford, Connecticut-based nonprofit that promotes recycling.

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