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Brookhaven single-stream recycling debut gets record collection

Employees sort recyclables on machines at Brookhaven Town's

Employees sort recyclables on machines at Brookhaven Town's waste management facility. (Nov. 13, 2013) Credit: Steve Pfost

A record amount of paper, plastic and other recyclables was collected by the Town of Brookhaven in the first week of its single-stream recycling program, officials announced.

The Department of Waste Management received almost 1,171 tons of recyclables from carters on Jan. 8 and 9. The amount was almost three times the 2013 average weekly collection of 436 tons, town officials said in a news release.

The previous weekly record was 780.55 tons collected on Jan. 26, 2011.

Brookhaven changed its recycling program this month to collect paper and plastics together. Previously, residents could not combine plastics and paper for pickup.

Officials have said the town expects to earn about $125 for each additional ton of collected recyclables, through selling the material and paying less to dispose of it.

Brookhaven officials cited studies that showed communities with single-stream recycling collect 20 percent to 30 percent more material than those without the program.

The town also expects to earn more revenue by accepting material from municipalities that cannot process single-stream recyclables, officials said.

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