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Single stream recycling starts Oct. 25, Cambridge announces plant tours

Posted by Brock Parker  July 12, 2010 08:46 AM

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Officials are inviting the public to tour Cambridge’s contracted recycling facility in Charlestown in preparation for the city’s switch to single stream recycling October 25.

The Department of Public Works has organized the first of several tours at Casella Recycling’s plant for Tuesday, July 13 and has scheduled additional tours in August, September, October and November.

The city is one of several communities switching to single stream recycling, which allows residents to throw all of their recyclable materials into a single container instead of requiring that items such as papers and plastics be separated for pick up.

Cambridge Recycling Director Randi Mail said the city expects recycling will increase by at least 10 percent in the city because of the ease of single stream recycling, and the city’s ability to accept additional materials for recycling.

Residents will no longer be required to break down cardboard boxes for recycling, and other items such as toys and empty paper coffee cups can also be recycled, Mail said.

In October the city will be delivering about 10,000 large recycling containers, known as toters, that have wheels and lids.

“It’s a pretty big rollout and we’re really excited about it,” Mail said.

The toters will be distributed to residences with one to five housing units, and Mail said about 4,000 residences in the city with six or more units already have toters.

The Cambridge City Council approved the switch to single stream recycling as part of the city’s budget in May. Other communities, such as Arlington, Boston, Brookline and Newton have either adopted single stream recycling or are in the process of making the switch.

Recycling costs for the Cambridge will increase about 10 percent as a result of the switch to single stream recycling, Mail said. The city has a $1.8 million contract with Casella Recycling, for recycling, yard waste pickup and other services, Mail said. Recycling costs will increase in part because Casella will use three additional workers to help with the recycling pickup, Mail said.

To sign up for a tour of the Casella Recycling facility, email jrebecchi@cambridgema.gov or call x4815. Tours last about two hours and can accommodate about 25 people. City employees and residents taking the tours will meet at the DPW’s building on Hampshire Street and carpool to Charlestown.

The tours dates are:

Tuesday, July 13:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 11:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 29:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 28:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, November 18:
Meet at DPW, 147 Hampshire St at 8:30 a.m.

For more details on single stream recycling in Cambridge, or to see a six
minute video of the recycling process, visit
www.cambridgema.gov/TheWorks/departments/recycle/singlestream.html

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