The city of Long Beach will suspend recycling collection indefinitely through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Thursday.
City Council president John Bendo announced the change in a robocall to residents and an announcement on the city’s website.
The city utilizes single-stream recycling, which involves the manual sorting of cans, bottles and paper.
The city’s recycling provider is Omni Recycling of Westbury. Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
“Due to the nature of the work, the contractor the City utilizes for recycling has been hit extremely hard by COVID-19 and cannot continue to process single-stream recycling during the pandemic,” Bendo said. “We will be resuming City-wide recycling as soon as possible and will communicate any additional changes to the program in the days and weeks ahead.”
Officials said they have consulted with the state Department of Environmental Conservation on the plan to suspend residential and commercial pickup, which stopped Friday.
Residents are being asked to include their recycling in regular trash pickup until the pandemic allows workers to resume regular collections.
Long Beach joins the Town of Hempstead and Oceanside in halting recycling collection during the coronavirus pandemic. The town’s recycling collection affects communities including Bellmore, Bethpage, East Meadow, Levittown, Lido Beach, Point Lookout, Seaford, Uniondale and Wantagh. Town officials said the policy would be reevaluated each week. Pickup in other sanitation districts and villages is decided separately.
Hempstead town officials said recycling was suspended due to the number of workers who had reported they were sick or quarantined for up to two weeks due to exposure to COVID-19. Hempstead uses a different provider, Westbury Paper Stock Corp., for recycling, which is locked in a legal dispute since last year over the town’s contract.
Town officials said Hempstead Town residents can drop off recycling at the homeowner disposal site at the town’s sanitation facility in Merrick at 1600 Merrick Rd. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends.