Curbside Recycling Makes Return in S.P.
Southern Pines' curbside recycling program is back in business after a hiatus of several years.
The town had eliminated it because a dwindling number of residents were taking advantage of it and because of the realization that many of the recycled goods eventually ended up in landfills anyway.
Last year, the town decided to reinstate the curbside pickup, citing increased interest in recycling among residents. It resumed Jan. 5.
"We made the decision based on the requests we had received to go back to curbside service," said Tim Allen, the street and sanitation superintendent for the town.
The program's return comes at a time when the market for recyclable goods has declined sharply nationally. But Assistant Town Manager David White said this fact will not deter the town from continuing to offer recycling services.
"Obviously I've been keeping an eye on it," White said, "and the recycling market has fluctuated up and down for a while, but we certainly hope that it will come back soon."
The town distributed green 18-gallon bins to residents in mid- to late December, and included a flier with information about curbside recycling. Multi-family dwellings received 96-gallon carts, delivered to the communal trash area.
Recycling is collected on the same day as trash pickup, and residents are asked to place their bins on the curb by 7 a.m. If residents want additional bins, they can call the town.
"We will consider requests for extra bins on a case-to-case basis," says Allen.
The town provides the same recycling services to commercial establishments that already have solid waste collection.
The recycling center at West Iowa Avenue and Memorial Park Court, where residents could bring materials after the curbside program was eliminated, closed Dec. 31 -- with the exception of the Dumpsters for corrugated cardboard. That will remain open.
Curbside recycling provided by the town is "single stream," meaning residents are not required to sort the materials before putting them in the bin. The town accepts metal cans, glass, plastic, cardboard and paper.
Metal cans include aluminum and bi-metal drink cans and steel cans (including tin). Glass items include soft drink (clear, brown and green), beer, wine, and liquor bottles. Plastics include bottles (with a neck) Nos. 1 through 7, juice containers and food containers.
Paper and cardboard items include newspapers and inserts, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, copy paper, cereal boxes and similar boxes and small pieces of corrugated cardboard.
Unacceptable items include Styrofoam, plastic films and bags, plastic trays and dishes, containers with food or hazardous materials, mirrors, plate glass, drinking glasses, ceramic cups and plates and coat hangers. Those items will not be picked up, and a note explaining why they were not picked up will be left with the items.
The monthly fee for curbside recycling is $3.75 for each home receiving waste collection service. The fee for the recycling program appears on the monthly utility bill and is due at the same time the water and landfill fees are paid.
For more information about the curbside recycling program, residents are encouraged to call the Southern Pines public works office at 692-1983 or the waste management office at 692-5800.
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