Backed by a $30,000 state grant, Statesville is preparing to implement a new recycling program Jan. 5.
The grant, from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was formally accepted at the City Council’s Sept. 15 meeting.
The money will be combined with a $6,000 city match to purchase up to 4,500 96-gallon rollout carts for use in the conversion of the city’s curbside recycling program to a single-stream format.
Under the old recycling operation, which began in 1990, city workers separated newspapers, bottles and other recycled materials, which were placed at the curb in 18-gallon rectangular containers.
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In addition to being a labor-intensive process, the containers would frequently blow over, creating a mess for homeowners and extra work for city personnel.
The new single-stream program will allow residents to place all recycled materials together in rollout carts that will be emptied in the same manner as the regular trash, using long mechanical arms that a single truck operator controls.
This will result in a savings on city labor costs and a quicker, more efficient collection procedure, officials say.
Single-stream has been implemented successfully by many surrounding communities, including Mooresville and Troutman.
The city has been registering customers for the program since the spring, with 3,650 signed up so far. Some 9,300 city households are eligible, according to Statesville spokeswoman Nancy Davis.
“We did the early sign-up for two reasons: first, in order to know how many of the new larger carts to purchase. Based on the response thus far, we’re asking quotes for 4,000 to 4,500 carts. We’ll receive bids the first week of October and present them to the Council at the Oct. 6 meeting. Then, we’ll order the carts and get them ready for delivery to the registered households at the end of December.”
Davis said the other reason they did the early sign-up was to begin plotting routes and to determine where they needed to encourage more participation from homeowners. Although registration is required, there is no hard cut-off date. Homeowners can sign up anytime, even after the Jan. 5 start date.
“We fully expect many new sign-ups in December and most especially in January when citizens, for whatever reason, who have not realized curbside recycling was changing, want one of those fancy new red recycling carts like their neighbor has,” she said.
There is no fee or charge to participate in the program. To register, residents should go to the city’s website – www.ci.statesville.nc.us – and follow the link to “Recycling Registration.”