The end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2011 marked the second anniversary of Stamford’s conversion to single-stream recycling. Since embarking on the “One Bin, All In” campaign two years ago, Stamford has increased its recycling 70% -- from 5,870 tons a year to 9,983 tons -- saving the City a whopping $1,791,000 in garbage-hauling expenses (based on the current cost of $77 a ton).
Instead, the City actually earns money on its recycling, creating an additional incentive to increase recycling rates. During the last fiscal year alone, the City received $195,000 for its recyclables from the Willimantic Waste Paper Company, Inc.
The single-stream program allows residents, schools, and park-goers to place all recyclable items in a single recycling bin instead of separating recycling as was previously required.
“Stamford residents have done an outstanding job embracing this program and boosting the City’s recycling rate,” says Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia. “While those who already recycle do a great job, we now can focus on those who are not recycling and find ways to encourage their participation as well.”
As new markets and opportunities for recycling appear, the Solid Waste and Recycling Department is quick to incorporate them. Adding to the savings already being achieved, an additional 8.2 tons of clothing in the City’s Goodwill/Big Brother containers was diverted from the waste stream, along with 1.45 tons of fluorescent bulbs and batteries, and 6.53 tons of car batteries, resulting in a combined additional savings of $17,500.
A possible additional revenue source is the City’s new cooking oil recycling program, which started this past April. It has to date kept 65 gallons from going down the drain, which could ultimately compromise water quality, or end up in the regular trash.
During the last fiscal year, the City’s new, free electronics recycling program diverted 217.6 tons of electronics out of our waste stream and, according to electronics recycling vendor WeRecycle!, Stamford is the largest electronics recycler in the State. Electronics can be dropped off at the Katrina Mygatt Recycling Center and Scofieldtown Road Recycling Center during their regular hours of operation. Household appliances such as stoves, air conditioners, and refrigerators are accepted at the Scale House, located at the transfer station on 105 Harbor View Ave.
Almost anything that is not food or liquid is recyclable in Stamford, making it feasible for a conscientious recycler to produce zero waste. Source reduction, however, is the finest strategy of all, which we can all do by reusing and reducing waste in the first place by:
Using reusable instead of disposable materials
Eliminating unnecessary items
Repairing or maintaining equipment
Buying more durable products
Buying recycled products
For questions relating to the City’s recycling program, contact Dan Colleluori, Supervisor of Solid Waste and Recycling, at City of Stamford Operations Department at (203) 977 4117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.