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Westport Saves With Single-Stream Recycling

WESTPORT, Conn. – More Westport residents are recycling their trash since the town instituted single-stream recycling last July, resulting in about a $220,000 annual savings to the town, Public Works Director Stephen Edwards announced Wednesday.

Edwards said the tonnage of recyclables collected has increased 167 percent. Almost 1,570 tons more of recyclables were collected since single-stream began. From July 2011 through March of this year, a total of 2,506.20 tons of recyclables were collected. In comparison, 937.26 tons of recyclables were collected from July 2010 to March 2011.

“The single-stream process has enabled residents to place all items together in the bin,” Edwards said.

Solid waste in Westport is currently disposed of at the Wheelabrator Incinerator in Bridgeport at approximately $85 per ton, Edwards said. The removal of 1,570 tons from the waste stream alone saves the town approximately $134,000.

Additionally, under the single-stream contract, there’s a rebate of $20 per ton for every ton delivered to the processing facility in Hartford.  The rebate accounts for another $31,375 in revenue from the sale of the recyclables, Edwards said.

Under the previous policy, which began in 1991, residents could only recycle acceptable plastic containers, cans and bottles. Also, residents had to separate their recyclables.

“In addition to simplifying the process, the single-stream contract has allowed for the recycling of additional commodities, specifically all plastic food containers numbered 1 through 7, chipboard products including cereal boxes and shoe boxes, all junk mail, aseptic containers, including milk and juice cartons and single service juice boxes and aerosol cans that contain food or cosmetic products,” Edwards said.

Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, Monroe, Easton, Orange, Woodbridge and East Haven are other communities in the region that have initiated single-stream recycling

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