July 22, 2010 - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Department of Public Works Director Al Chwalek announced today that the City of Springfield will be rolling out the final phase of single stream recycling program to City residents. The final phase involves the delivery of 28,000 recycle barrels to residents over a two week period beginning the first week of August. The carts will come with information and instructions. Residents will not have to be home to accept delivery. The DPW will collect existing small blue recycling bins on the residents first recycle day after the Labor Day holiday.
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. During that same time 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.
In December 2009, the city initiated Phase 1 of the recycle barrel distribution. Since that time the areas that received the barrels (38% of the city) are recycling at twice the rate as the other areas. Phase 1 involved the distribution of 95-gallon recycle barrels to 14,000 City households.
Mayor Sarno stated that “the City initiated and undertook this 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 of Springfield for their ongoing cooperation with the recycling program and am confident that residents will continue to appreciate the convenience of single stream recycling,” stated Sarno.
Department of Public Works Director Al Chwalek stated” The City is committed to its single stream recycling program.” “Our single stream program has helped to mitigate our solid waste disposal costs and promote environmental stewardship,” said Chwalek. The recycling carts have been successful both in increasing the amount of recyclables we process and decreasing the amount of rubbish for disposal and we are dedicated to continuing to provide convenient, cost-effective recycling services for the City,” added Chwalek.
The single stream recycling program has reduced the City’s annual rubbish collection by over 1,300 tons resulting in a savings to the City of over $100,000 in disposal costs. The City will realize even greater savings once the recycle barrels have been distributed throughout the City. The City saves $80 on every ton of waste that is recycled instead of disposed of.
Residents can call the City’s call center with any questions at 3-1-1 or (413) 736-3111. An informational mailing will be sent to residents before the carts arrive.