Brookhaven Town unveiled a new recycling system that quadruples the amount of waste materials processed at the Yaphank landfill.
"We're carving out a new future and sending the town in a new direction. We're going to stress recycling above all else," Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said at a Tuesday news conference.
The single-stream recycling system -- dubbed "Green Stream Machine" -- can process up to 48 tons of recyclables per hour, while the old system breaks down about 12 to 14 tons in the same time frame.
Single-stream recycling refers to residents bundling recyclable materials instead of separating them to be taken on alternate days. Recycling in Brookhaven is required under the town code.
"It's a win-win for the community and town," said Johan McConnell, president of the South Yaphank Civic organization.The system includes new optical scanners and magnets, allowing materials to be sorted faster and with more efficiency, officials said.
Green Stream Recycling, a joint venture between Winters Bros. Waste Systems of Danbury, Connecticut, and Westbury-based Omni Recycling, invested more than $5 million in the machine. It will receive a share of profits from the town selling the recyclables in return, officials said.
"Recycling rates on Long Island can and must improve. And we need to make it easier for residents to recycle," said Will Flower, president of Green Stream Recycling.
He called the Green Machine "the most advanced recycling center on Long Island."
"It is the goal of the town board to recycle more and educate," said town Councilman Dan Panico, adding he wants to leave a better Long Island for future generations.