New York city transitions to dual-stream recycling

The city is switching to dual-stream recycling because of cost increases for single-stream recycling.

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October 12, 2018
Edited by Megan Smalley

The city of Kingston, New York, plans to transition from a single-stream recycling system to a dual-stream recycling system, according to the Daily Freeman newspaper. 

The Daily Freeman reports that the transition back to dual-stream recycling came in response to a decision by the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) to raise its fee for accepting single-stream recycling and to stop accepting mixed or commingled recyclables at the end of this year.

Timothy Rose, executive director of UCRRA, says UCRRA currently owns and operates a dual-stream material recovery facility (MRF). He adds that the single-stream recycling it receives is transferred to 53-foot trailers and sent to a single-stream recycling facility for processing. As of Dec. 31, 2018, he says UCRRA will no longer accept any single-stream recycling. 

As a result of this change and the excess cost of single-stream recycling, Kingston will be switching to dual-stream recycling. Kingston Mayor Steve Noble told the Daily Freeman that the city currently pays $80 per ton to unload its single-stream recyclables, and he says that cost would drop to zero with dual-stream recycling. He added that the city currently recycles about 2,000 tons of material annually. 

The mayor told the Daily Freeman that switching to dual-stream recycling will require community education, but he says it may be the city’s only option. 

According to the Daily Freeman, the city might be investing $400,000 to buy additional recycling totes for homes that could handle residential paper and cardboard recyclables. The city would be reimbursed $200,000 through a state Department of Environmental Conservation program.