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Single Stream Recycling Begins Monday, Oct. 1

Release Date: 9/28/2012 12:00:00 PM

MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Deasy 509.625.6318

Beginning Monday, Oct. 1, the City of Spokane will make recycling much easier with the addition of single stream recycling at the curb. Single stream recycling will allow City of Spokane Solid Waste Management customers to put all of their recyclables into a single large cart without sorting.

Single Stream Recycling

Within the City of Spokane, blue carts have started being delivered; it will take about five weeks until all of the carts are delivered. Customers should use their smaller blue bins for recycling until they receive their carts. After the blue cart is delivered, the blue bin can be kept for use at home or it can be picked it up by the City.

The new service also will allow for more products to be recycled, including office paper, junk mail, grocery bags, cereal boxes, aluminum foil, and plastics numbered 1 through 7. Batteries can be recycled if they are put inside a plastic bag and placed on top of the cart.

The recyclables will be taken to a new facility called the Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMART) Center that will be owned and operated by Waste Management, a private company that serves 20 million customers in North America. That facility is being built on land adjacent to the City’s Waste-to-Energy facility.

The City expects that the change to single-stream recycling will increase participation in recycling and reduce both collection and disposal costs.

The City estimates that participation in curbside recycling will increase by about 50 percent with the introduction of single-stream recycling and that the amount of recyclables collected will grow by 75 percent. For each ton of material that the City recycles, the City saves $104 on disposal costs and earns about $22 selling the items. With this change, the City expects to save about $936,000 a year on disposal costs and earn about $400,000 in revenue.

Additionally, the new carts allow for automated pickup of recyclables reducing the number of employees and trucks needed to serve the City. That will lead to another $425,000 in savings annually.

The City will invest about $8 million to get the new service up and running. About half of that expense is to replace the City’s old recycling trucks with new automated trucks. The old trucks were scheduled for replacement regardless of the City’s recycling system.

The new 64-gallon blue single-stream recycling carts can be filled with:

  • Glass: bottles and jars (no lids).
  • Paper: newspaper, corrugated cardboard, magazines and catalogs, telephone books, printer paper, junk mail, cereal and pop boxes, shoe boxes, and non-coated paper products.
  • Metal: aluminum cans and foil, tin, steel and metal cans, aerosol cans (empty, no lids or tips), and small pieces of scrap metal.
  • Plastic: bottles, jars and tubs (no lids), and plastics numbered 1-7.

Customers can find more information in the letter that was included with their blue cart. For a complete list of acceptable materials or call the Recycling Hotline at 625-6800.


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