Friday, September 16, 2011
Q: What is Zero-Sort recycling?
A. Zero-Sort is what is known as single-stream recycling, which means all recyclables including paper, cardboard, plastics, glass metal and other recyclable containers are discarded together in one bin. Just as with our current program, only recycling goes in the bin (no trash). But now instead of separating paper and cardboard from other recyclables, you put everything in one place.
Q: Why is Somerville changing to Zero-Sort recycling?
A. Using just one collection bin for all your recyclable items increases the ease and convenience of recycling. In Somerville, we tested the program in part of Ward 5 and recycling increased by an average of more than 60 percent. That's a lot of resources being saved.
Q: When will I receive the new recycling cart?
A: We will begin delivering the new carts the week of October 10 and finish by October 28th. If you have not received a cart prior the program start, please continue to use you blue bin.
Q: When will Zero-Sort recycling pickup start?
A: We will begin picking up mixed recyclables on Oct. 17. If you do not have your cart before that time, please continue using your old bins.
Q: How will I know what I can recycle?
A: Informational materials will be delivered with your new cart. Basically you can recycle everything we've already been recycling as well as pizza boxes (if you scrape off the cheese). Our recycling page on the City website will be updated once the program starts. For the current list, CLICK HERE. And, when in doubt, you can always call 311 to ask.
Q: How many carts will multi-family buildings receive?
A: Single-family homes will recieve one cart, two-family homes will receive two carts. Residents of three-family homes will share two carts. Residents in four-, five-, or six-unit homes will share three carts.
Q: Who gets to participate in the program?
A: The City provides recycling service to residents in buildings of six units or less. Residents of larger buildings and businesses can receive recycling pickup from the City by purchasing a recycling cart from the Department of Public Works at One Franey Road. The carts cost $50.
Q. What do I do with my old recycling bin?
A. You can use the old bin to keep recycled materials in your house and then carry them to the new cart. Or you may keep the bin for other uses. If you no longer want your old bin, place it in or on your new cart on your recycling day and it will be picked up and recycled.
Q. What happens if the cart is damaged?
A. Please call 311 to report the issue. Someone from the City will visit your house on your next recycling day to inspect the cart and repair it if possible. If it can’t be fixed, you will receive a replacement cart at no cost to you.
Q. What happens if I lose the recycling cart?
A. Call 311 to report that it is missing. Each cart has a unique serial number, which allows us to track and identify individual carts. We will try to track it down and return it. If not, we will drop a new one off on the curb in front of your house at no cost to you.
Q: How are the materials separated at the recycling facility?
A. Somerville brings its recyclables to the state-of-the-art Casella recycling facility in Charlestown. This facility sorts and processes all of the materials using high-tech machinery (each type of plastic, for example, is detected by laser and removed from the overall mix with a jet of air).
Q: What happens to recycled materials?
A: The materials are sold on the commodities market and Somerville benefits from these sales.
Photo: Arlington County, VA, via Flickr.
Posted by ResiStat at 12:46 PM