Single Stream Recycling Set to Begin - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Single Stream Recycling Set to Begin

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Starting next Monday, new wheeled recycle carts, similar to your trash bins, will be delivered to 82,000 Reno homes. You will start using them February 1st. It's goodbye to those yellow and green crates, and hello to the new "single-stream recycling" system. As Sarah Polito at Waste Management showed us, "All recyclables go in the recycling cart, and your trash will go in your trash cart."

This year Reno is getting what most of the country has had for a while. It fixes so many drawbacks of the old system, you wonder why they didn't do this in the first place. Polito told us that with the new carts, "You have your recyclables containerized. You're not going to have the recyclables blowing around down the street in high winds. And it's going to be harder for the people who are scavenging to steal your recyclables and make a mess at your home."

And how simple it is: you just put your glass, paper & cardboard, hard plastics, aluminum, tin and steel cans in the new more separating your cans from your bottles. By making it this simple, they hope to increase Reno's recycling rate, which is currently only around 33%. That's pretty low as cities go. Polito says Reno's low rate "is because up to now it hasn't been very easy for people. The old system is cumbersome. You have people walking it to their curb. Things are spilling on them with the old system."

With the new system, they're also going from old truck to new. They will be using new compressed natural gas trucks that reduce emissions by over 20% compared to the old diesel trucks. The new trucks are also quieter and are more efficient for Waste Management, with one driver emptying the cart with a mechanical arm controlled from inside. They tell us no one will be laid off by this new system...manpower at the trucks will stay the same and workers will be at the recycling center separating the recyclables.

Who's going to pay for it all? You are, of course…unless you save on your bill by downsizing to a smaller trash cart. Polito told us, "Because their volumes are going to go down, they're going to be paying less." Everyone else in Reno will have a "minimal increase" on their bill.

Residential single-stream recycling is only in Reno. The City of Sparks Council and Washoe County Commissioners have not approved this, at least not yet.

-written by John Potter

There are many questions and answers about the new program on Waste Management's single-stream website. You'll find them all here, just click below:

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