Norwalk: The BEST and WORST Ways to Use Your New Single Stream Recycling Cart

Yep, looks like a garbage can, Norwalk. But don’t throw garbage in it!

NORWALK, Conn. – The better the recycling, the more Norwalk will enjoy the environmental and financial benefits associated with single-stream recycling, a city press release said. The goal is to optimize the single-stream mixture by including valuable recyclables and minimizing trash.

Single-stream recycling begins Monday. Here are the tips shared by the city Wednesday:

Best for Single-Stream Recycling:

• Aluminum: When aluminum is recycled, a tremendous amount of energy and resources are conserved; therefore, aluminum is a very valuable commodity. All empty aluminum cans should be recycled. Don’t forget to include clean aluminum foil, trays and pie plates.

• Paper: Everyone should recycle all the paper that is acceptable (corrugated cardboard; paperboard, like cereal boxes; newspaper; junk mail; magazines and catalogs) in the single-stream recycling cart. Most paper/cardboard is acceptable as long as it is not contaminated with food or grease and is not wax coated.

• Plastics: Made from petroleum products, plastics can be expensive to manufacture and require a non-renewable resource to produce. Plastics coded #1 through #7 are acceptable in the single-stream recycling mix including polystyrene (Styrofoam).

Worst for Single-Stream Recycling:

• Garbage: Garbage belongs in the garbage. Garbage does not belong in the single-stream recycling mix. All food waste, garbage and debris should be removed and separated from recyclables prior to their being put into the recycling cart.

• Hazardous Waste: Hazardous waste can be, well, hazardous to curbside recycling collectors and facility operators. No liquids, especially hazardous waste, should be included with single-stream recyclables.

• Scrap Metal: Large pieces of metal can damage the single-stream recycling equipment. Scrap metal is never to be put into curbside recycling carts. The only metals allowed in the single-stream recycling mix are aluminum cans, containers, foils, trays and pie plates as well as steel (tin) cans, staples and paper clips.

For more information, visit the city of Norwalk website and look at the Garbage, Recycling and Yard Waste information on the left side of the home page. You may also call the city’s Customer Service Department at 203-854-3200.


4 responses to “Norwalk: The BEST and WORST Ways to Use Your New Single Stream Recycling Cart”

  1. Sarah Mann

    Thank you Nancy for bringing to light all of the good things that single stream recycling will mean to the city taxpayers. I’m from a suburb north of Chicago and they have had single steam recycling for a number of years. My mother lives in a condo and she wheels her large blue bin out weekly. Change takes getting used to but I truly believe that the folks in Norwalk will ultimately be very pleased with single stream recycling. If anyone has a problem or an issue by all means call customer service 203-854-3200 and I’m confident that Hal and his team at DPW will work to resolve whatever issue is at hand.

  2. Oldtimer

    The big containers are made to be handled by a machine so the drivers don’t have to lift them. In some places, everything, including garbage, goes into such containers and a one-man truck picks them up, dumps them into the truck, and puts them back on the curb. Where I have seen them used this way there is no indication how recyclables are separated from the mix, but I suspect a lot get contaminated by the trash and are not recycled.
    The big containers and the machines on the trucks are clearly labor-saving. The biggest cost in the process is labor and it would seem the city could have adopted such containers and one-man trucks years ago, without privatizing. The next step will probably be machine handled containers for trash and trucks with separate compartments for trash and recyclables.

  3. EastNorwalkChick

    I’m loving the size, though the dog seems a little leery of it, growling at it when it first appeared and at high alert every time I put something into it….I’ve decided to call mine “Big Blue”, with hopes that my “Big Dog” will realize that it’s here to stay, so he better get used to it!

  4. spanner

    critics argue that the costs and energy used in collection and transportation detract from (and outweigh) the costs and energy saved in the production process; also that the jobs produced by the recycling industry can be a poor trade for the jobs lost in logging, mining, and other industries associated with virgin production; and that materials such as paper pulp can only be recycled a few times before material degradation prevents further recycling. Proponents of recycling dispute each of these claims, and the validity of arguments from both sides has led to enduring controversy.

    Virgin plastic resin costs 40 percent less than recycled resin how could this be true?

    High levels of lead (Pb), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated dioxins and furans, as well as polybrominated dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs and PBDD/Fs) concentrated in the air, bottom ash, dust, soil, water and sediments in areas surrounding recycling sites

    Its possible that any of this information is slanted from those who do not want the blue bins.

    I do think the process is good,but the way it was done in Norwalk has made many angry residents who for the most part think this whole process was a waste of money and a profit for a company that isn’t altogether trusted in Norwalk.

    Still after all of this talk no one has pointed out the transfer station probably does more collection in the dumpsters that hold just glass paper and plastic.What gets me is the things you can’t put into a bucket size wise yet go to the transfer station you have objects the size of the blue containers,where is that plastic seperated?

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