While the single stream recycling program has doubled the recycling rate of the City, it has not come without some challenges. The biggest challenge facing the program is the putting of non-recyclable items in the blue recycling carts.
Recycling barrels that contain non-recyclable items will be tagged with an orange sticker and not collected. The resident will have to remove the items and put it out on their next collection day.
Hazardous materials and other non-recyclable items placed into recycling containers caused the contamination of 6 loads of recyclable materials in April.
One of the truck loads of recyclable material was contaminated by tar improperly disposed of in the recycling cart. Almost half of the contents of the entire truck were contaminated and had to be hauled to a landfill.
To some it may seem harmless to toss a rogue item into a recycling container. However, we want to make sure people understand that it's far from harmless. The simple act of placing oil or any other non-recyclable material into a recycling container can contaminate an entire load of clean recyclables.
The City will be launching an education campaign to inform residents as to what you can and cannot put in the recycling barrel. The "10 most unwanted list" flyer will be put in the May 28th edition of The Republican and also posted on the City website. This list is comprised of the 10 most commonly found non-recyclable items found in the blue recycling barrel. Flyers will also be available for free at your local library, community center, senior center or by calling customer service at #311.
The City will be utilizing grants from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Springfield MRF Advisory Board in order to fund this outreach initiative.
Some of the most common items found are yard waste, food and clothes. These pictures came from some of recycling delivered by the City of Springfield in April.