By Sophia Ricco
Single-stream recycling went out the window for the town’s four villages on Jan. 2, returning residents to days when they were required to sort and keep track of which recyclables get put out on the curb each week.
All four incorporated villages followed the Town of Huntington in requiring residents to divide their recyclables based on the material, either paper, plastic and metals, or glass. Recycling days will remain on Wednesdays, but each week the recyclable materials being picked up with alternate.
Each village has their schedule and quirks, but ultimately each is going through the same procedure.
“I think that everyone who is interested in recycling is perfectly happy to do it either way, since they’re environmentally motivated enough to recycle,” Asharoken mayor, Greg Letica said.
The change comes after an agreement between the towns of Huntington and Brookhaven that sent mixed recyclables to Brookhaven for processing was abrputly ended in October.
Town officials found switching back to dual-stream recycling was more cost effective.
Continuing with mixed recycables would coast an estimated $950,000 annually, while seperated recycables can be processed at about $250,000 annually, Huntington’s environmental waste management director John Clark told town officals in November.
“At this point, dual-stream is more cost-effective, single-stream would cost the residents an extra $95 a ton to get rid of,” Northport village administrator, Tim Brojer said.
Asharoken implemented a soft transition for the procedure by starting dual-stream sorting on Dec. 12, weeks before the change went into effect. They require residents to separate into three bins: bin #1 is clean, unsoiled paper products, excluding styrofoam, bin #2 is rinsed clean cans and plastic, and bin #3 is clean glass bottles and containers. The separation allows materials to be better manipulated for reuse, something Letica said produces a better environmental outcome.
“Recycling is a critical component of making our environment better, it reduces trash and reduces the amount of energy needed to create these products,” Letica said.
Letica said Asharoken residents should set out plastic and glass on Jan. 9, and paper on Jan. 16. From there, the weeks will alternate.
The villages of Asharoken and Lloyd Harbor have an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Smithtown to process dual-stream recyclables.
“I was the guy many years ago, who actually started the recycling in Asharoken,” Letica said. “We got two dumpsters down by village hall, one was for cans and bottles and the other for newspapers. People would bring their recycling there then eventually we would work it into our sanitation plan.”
Huntington Bay kicked off dual-stream on Jan. 2, utilizing Winter Brothers for their trash and recycling needs. The Village will only recycle paper, plastic, and cans, glass will go in the normal trash flow. On Jan. 9, the town will recycle paper, then Jan. 16 plastic and cans, and so on.
“I do believe recycling is an important activity, anything that makes recycling easier or encourages people, is a good thing… Now that there’s a calendar, it does make it a little more cumbersome but I hope that doesn’t discourage people from recycling,” Huntington Bay mayor Herbert Morrow said.
Lloyd Harbor’s recycling changes went into effect on Jan. 1. Clean paper products must be separated from metals and plastics. No wax-coated containers, food-stained paper or cardboard, or glass can be put in the recyclables, according to information on the Village website.
Lloyd Harbor has divided the Village based on location for recycling pick up. All homes on mainland South of and including Banbury Lane, can put their recycling to the curb Jan. 16 and 30, every other week. All homes on mainland North of Banbury Lane and on Lloyd Neck, will have their recyclables picked up Jan. 9 and 23.
The Village of Northport has enlisted Total Collection to pick up their recyclables, and will follow the trend of separating paper from cans, plastic and glass. On Jan. 9, they will collect cans, plastic and glass, then on Jan. 16, they will accept paper, and so on.
“We’re hoping that it’s not gonna be a big change,” Brojer said. “We’re hoping that it’ll be a learning curve for the first couple weeks and then everyone will get on track.”