Collections of recyclable materials increased by 22 percent and the cost of the recycling program registered a net savings of more than $800,000 during the first full year of roll-out recycling.
Johnnie Taylor, the city’s sanitation director, attributed the increase in collections to the larger capacity and convenience of the “single stream” rollout carts, in which households place all their recyclables, compared with the “dual-stream” collection bins previously used, which required residents to separate their recyclables.
For the first year of rollout recycling (April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013) 12,988.53 tons of recyclables were collected, compared with 10,079.97 tons collected from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012.
For the first full year of rollout recycling, the city spent $1,401,330, compared with $2,803,886 for the 12 preceding months. Factoring in the cost of the rollout carts, which are being financed over five years, the city saved $801,330. “After five years, the city will no longer have cart payments and the savings will be that much higher,” Taylor said.
The reduced cost can be attributed to collecting every other week with the carts, compared with weekly collection before, and the need for fewer trucks because the automated collection trucks are faster than the manual collection that was required with bins. Fewer trucks also mean less greenhouse gas emissions, Taylor said.
“We are pleased, but not surprised at these results, because this is what we were expecting when we made the switch.” Taylor said. “Rollout recycling is providing better service to our citizens for less cost.”
For more information about the recycling program, including a collection schedule and map, guidelines for placing rollout carts at the curb and lists of materials that can and cannot be recycled, go to www.Sanitation.CityofWS.org.