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Westport Expands Single-Stream Recycling Program

Westport residents can recycle more items than before through the single-stream recycling program.
Westport residents can recycle more items than before through the single-stream recycling program. Photo Credit: File: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – Phone books and plastic toys are some of the items Westport residents can now toss into their recycling bins as part of the town’s single-stream recycling program.

Launched in 2011, the single-stream method simplifies recycling by allowing residents to place all their recyclables together in one bin. Before the items are recycled, they are separated during an automated process using density and optical scanners.

“Since its inception in 2011, single-stream recycling in Westport has accounted for the recycling of 7,079 tons of recyclables as compared to the 2,581 tons that were recycled in the previous two years,” Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said.

On Monday, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced that Westport has entered into a new contract with nine other communities in the region to continue the program.

Under the new contract, paperback books, phone books, hard cover books that have had the binders removed, and rigid plastic items such as toys, containers and buckets, have been added to the list of recyclable items.

Recyclables already accepted as part of the program include all plastic food containers Nos. 1 through 7; chipboard products, such as cereal and shoe boxes; all junk mail; aseptic containers, such as milk and juice cartons, and juice boxes; glass bottles; aluminum and steel cans; and aerosol cans that contained food or cosmetic products—not paint, automotive or chemical products such as pesticides.

“Each ton of recyclables that is removed from the waste stream and processed under the new contract will translate into a savings of approximately $105 per ton,” Edwards said.

Residents are reminded to not place recyclables in plastic bags, as these will foul the automatic processing equipment. Refuse haulers have been instructed not to pick up any recyclables placed in plastic bags. Items can instead be placed in paper bags, which are acceptable.

Recyclables not accepted in the blue bin — all electronics, fluorescent and CFL bulbs, all batteries, scrap metal, automotive oil and antifreeze — can be taken to the Westport Transfer Station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector.

For more information about recycling, visit the town’s Public Works website .

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