Recycling program continues to improve

The Town of Brookhaven has been working three months now after returning to a dual-stream recycling program. The town originally switched over four years ago to single-stream, but reversed when the product market changed and buyers were drying up.

The biggest challenge so far, according to Chris Andrade, commissioner of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management, is the inability to take plastic bags. He said those specifically have been a struggle. But, he added, the product is coming out a lot cleaner after processing, which was the goal when switching to dual-stream. He added that there were other smaller issues that come up once in a while, but have not been major problems.

“In today’s market, if you can’t produce a clean material, you can’t move it,” he said.

Andrade explained that material without contaminants, which is more likely under the dual-stream system, comes out cleaner and is more marketable. The town then doesn’t have to pay to dispose of it if it is not moved.

Andrade thanked the residents of the town for continuing to comply with the dual-stream system, and encourages anyone with questions to visit the website and learn more. He said compliance has been improving each week.

Single-stream recycling allows all recyclables to be collected in one effort, to then be separated at the plant. But dual-stream requires paper/cardboard to be picked up on one day and metal/plastic to be picked up another. Glass cannot be recycled during weekly pickups, only by bringing it to a town recycling facility, which are listed on the town’s website.

What can you recycle?

The town will accept newspapers, magazines, copy paper and color paper inserts, but will not take metallic paper, wax paper, shredded paper or soiled paper like tissues or paper towels. All cardboard must be flattened, and the town will not accept milk, juice or egg cartons, nor any soiled cardboard. For plastic, the town can only take those numbered 1 and 2, like water and soda bottles, milk jugs and detergent bottles. They will not accept plastic bags, Styrofoam or motor oil containers. All metal recyclables must be empty and rinsed tin and aluminum cans, and empty aerosol cans. Cans that previously held toxic chemicals will not be accepted. Glass can only be recycled by visiting a town facility.

How can you recycle?

A calendar for the recycle days, which alternate each week, is available on the town website. For example, March 6 is a paper/metal recycling day, according to the calendar. Items must be placed prior to 6 a.m. on Wednesdays. CURBY cans can be purchased for $20 at the town clerk’s office in Town Hall, at the landfill, and at the Manorville Compost Facility.

Residents can request a free Recycle Brookhaven Sticker to identify their recycling can by calling 631-451-8696.

Full information on the new recycling system is available at www.brookhavenny.gov/recycle or by calling 631-451-TOWN.

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