Long Island communities eye dual-stream collection

Long Island communities eye dual-stream collection

Three New York towns are nearing approval of a dual-stream collection system for residential recyclables.

November 22, 2018

The governing boards of three Long Island, New York, towns with a combined 625,000 people are nearing completion of a deal to begin using dual-stream collection in their residential recycling programs.

According to an online article from Melville, New York-based Newsday, the town boards of Brookhaven and Smithtown, New York, have agreed to adopt a system to jointly collect and process paper, cardboard and other recyclables in a dual-stream method “for at least six months.”

The newspaper says the two towns, along with the town of Southold, have “agreed in principle that each would switch to dual-stream recycling programs, requiring residents to sort paper, plastics, aluminum and other metals separately.” Southold board members have not yet finished reviewing the proposal but will vote on it soon, according to Newsday.

Dual-stream systems typically ask residents to place recovered fiber into one portion or a separate container, while metal cans and plastic bottles are placed into the other portion or bin.

The three towns have about 625,000 residents combined, according to United States Census Bureau data, with Brookhaven being by the far the largest, with nearly 500,000 people.

The new system has become necessary after Green Stream Recycling bowed out early from a 25-year contract to process commingled recyclables. Green Stream said trade restrictions imposed suddenly by China had rendered the contract untenable.

According to Newsday, Brookhaven plans to start its dual-stream program on Nov. 28, while Smithtown and Southold predict their new collection programs would start in January.

A Southold town supervisor the newspaper quotes referred to the new collection systems as a “stopgap measure” that could be extended for an additional six months if all parties agree.

The largest town, Brookhaven reportedly plans to establish several glass collection centers, since glass bottles and jars will not be welcome in either the paper or the metal and plastic container streams. The glass will be ground into sand and used as landfill lining, according to Newsday.