November 5, 2009 - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, representatives from the City’s Department of Public Works and the Department of Environmental Protection announced today that the City expects to save over $250,000 in annual savings as a result of an expansion to its single-stream recycling program (Phase 2) that will start on December 1, 2009. The program is aimed at encouraging and making it easier for residents to recycle. Residents with city trash service will no longer have to separate their bottles and cans from their paper when they set it out for pickup.
In September 2008, the City of Springfield in cooperation with DEP and Waste Management/Recycle America launched the first curbside single stream recycling pilot program in Western Massachusetts. This pilot program tested the feasibility of collecting its residential recyclables mixed together in one recycling container. The purpose of this 805 household pilot was to study the effect 95 gallon single stream recycling has on rubbish and recycling rates.
The results in the pilot area were remarkable. The recycling rates in the East Forest Park neighborhood pilot area more than doubled. Starting with an average of around 3 tons per pickup, recycling quickly increased to almost 7 tons per pickup. Residents recycled more and participated in greater numbers. In that same period, rubbish decreased by 3 tons per week or almost 20%. This program’s goal was to encourage residents to recycle more not only for environmental benefits but to ultimately save City resources.
Later this month, the City will be expanding begin Phase 2 of the single stream recycling pilot program which will involve the distribution of 95-gallon recycling containers between November 16th and November 25th to 14,000 of the City’s 37,000 households that the City services. Residents do not need to be home to accept delivery of the recycling containers. The successful recycling rates in the East Forest Park pilot area have prompted City officials to encourage single stream recycling city-wide. Therefore, residents who do not receive a new 95-gallon blue recycling bin can use previously issued city blue bins or other containers less than 30 gallons for single stream. Residents who need additional city blue bins can call 3-1-1 with their request.
The City saves $46.11 on every ton of material that is recycled and not brought to the landfill. Mayor Sarno stated that “the City initiated and undertook a cutting edge and aggressive recycling program because it’s the right thing to do environmentally and it creates increased savings for Springfield taxpayers.” “I want to thank the residents in East Forest Park for their cooperation with the recycling pilot program and am confident that residents in the other parts of our City will appreciate the convenience of the single stream,” stated Sarno.
Director of Public Works Director Al Chwalek stated “the DPW has been investigating the efficiency, convenience and cost savings associated with single stream recycling for a significant period of time.” “With the support of the Mayor’s office and DEP we were able to implement a successful single stream pilot program,” stated Chwalek. “The data gathered from this program helped confirm our belief that single stream will work in the City of Springfield,” added Chwalek.
An informational mailing will go out to all residents next week (November 9th) to announce the program. Springfield residents can begin no-sort single stream recycling on December 1st .