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Recycling rate up 54 percent with big blue carts

SALISBURY — The recycling rate in Salisbury has jumped by 54 percent since the city switched to the big blue rollout carts 10 months ago.
Before the switch in July 2012, about one in three residents used the city’s curbside recycling service, which offered a laundry basket-sized 14-gallon bin that was picked up once a week.
With the 96-gallon rollout carts, more than half of city residents are now recycling, Tony Cinquemani, the city’s director of public services, told City Council on Tuesday.
The rollout carts have 70 percent more capacity than the old bins. New contractor Waste Pro, which picks up the recycling at the curb every other week, will accept all plastics, not just those marked 1 and 2.
The volume of recycled material increased by 37 percent in seven months, Cinquemani said.
“Happily, we are recycling much more and so glad for it,” Diane Coates Peoples posted on Facebook. “Our recycle rollout is fuller than the garbage, always!”
Julie Steele said now that she’s using the rollout cart, her weekly garbage is only half-full. She suggested the city reduce garbage pick-up to every other week.
Bailey Wingler said with the larger recycling cart and a compost pile, her family produces only two small bags of garbage a week.
“I brag about my giant recycling bins to everyone,” Wingler said on Facebook. “Hurray, Salisbury! And I agree that we could cut garbage collection to every other week now.”
Sarah Hall said now that she can recycle all plastics, she usually fills up her cart and part of a neighbor’s as well as she cleans out her house.
Hall said she’s moving soon to a city with a curbside recycling service that accepts only plastics 1 and 2.
“One of the first things I plan to do after I move there is see if I can change that,” Hall said. Re
Tracy McMillin said she took the new recycling program as a personal challenge. Her family has gone from filling two green trash carts every week to filling two blue recycling carts and about one trash bag every other week.
“Thumbs up for the program,” said McMillin, one of the first residents to request a second recycling cart, which she had to pay for.
The city signed a $351,829 contract last year with Waste Pro, which was slightly less than the city paid the previous contractor.
The carts were included in the price, which covers one year of service with an option for two annual renewals.
The city continues to offer backyard pickup for elderly or disabled residents. Anyone who wants to request the service can call the Solid Waste Department at 704-638-5256.
All plastics except plastic bags, all colors of glass, metal and aerosol cans, cardboard, newspaper, magazines, junk mail, phone books and shredded paper placed in a clear plastic bag are recyclable.
Lids can remain on all items, but everything needs to be thoroughly rinsed.
Do not place Styrofoam, foil, plastic bags or plastic wrap in the rollout carts. And, as always, pizza boxes are not recyclable.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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