Boston to begin no-sort recycling program July 1

By Jenna Nierstedt
Globe Correspondent / June 24, 2009
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Boston will launch a recycling program July 1 that will no longer require residents to separate paper and plastic waste items and is expected to save the city approximately $1 million annually, city officials said yesterday.

The no-sort program, better known as single-stream recycling, was detailed yesterday at the Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and city environmental officials. It is expected to increase recycling by making it simpler for residents, officials said. More recycling will translate into more cost savings, the officials said. It is about $40 less expensive to recycle a ton of waste than to send it to landfills or incinerators, according to the mayor and the city’s environmental services team.

Over the next year, the city will deliver about 55,000 new 64-gallon wheeled barrels to residents living in single-family homes and buildings with six or fewer residential units.

Residents can place all their recyclables in the barrels, including paper, plastics, glass, and cardboard. Jamaica Plain and Roxbury residents will be the first recipients.

Boston began considering a conversion from its dual-stream system, in which paper and plastic items are separated, to a single-stream system when its recycling processor, Casella Waste Systems of Rutland, Vt., said it would be utilizing its materials recovery facility to separate the mixed items, said Susan Cascino, the city’s recycling director.

A pilot program of the single-stream system in Boston neighborhoods from May 2007 to July 2008 showed a 50 percent increase in recycling, the mayor’s office said.