Operators of Cortland County Recycling Center Looks to Educate Public on Single Stream Format
The new operators of the Cortland County Recycling Center are looking to educate the public on the benefits associated with single stream recycling formats.
On January 1st Casella Waste Services took over the operation of the county owned recycling center. The decision was made by county lawmakers as revenue from the recycling center continued to drop and costs mounted.
As part of the takeover Casella announced that they would be converting the facility from a multi-stream recycling format where all incoming material had to be sorted into specific categories such as paper, glass, plastic, and tin into a single stream drop off where all materials could be mixed together.
According to Casella Public Educator Andrea Yonge the items are still be recycled in fact this method is more effective to ensure that the recycling program is taking in as much material as possible. Casella uses the Cortland facility as a transfer station, the materials are collected and then shipped to the companies sorting center in Ontario County, processed, sold, and then the county receives a portion of the proceeds.
By switching to the single stream format the county was able to capture more tonnage from places like SUNY Cortland which went to the single format to increase on campus recycling. Many other large institutions like schools use the same approach. Early figures suggest that incoming tonnage was up in January over December’s figures.
Yonge says Casella plans to set up videos and educational materials at the recycling center to inform residents about the change and how the new system works.
Yonge says other subtle changes are planned to make it easier to drop off items and to keep the site looking clean. Yonge pointed out that currently styrofoam is not a recycled item and they are collecting plastic grocery bags but they are not a recycled item. The facility is still accepting used electronic items or e-waste at no charge.
Lawmakers discussed a desire to see an agriculture plastics recycling program implemented locally, there was also a discussion about tightening up regulations for commercial haulers using the county landfill including requiring increased insurance coverage and verification that commercial haulers are obtaining the correct permits and paying all applicable sales taxes.