The six-month experiment will take all types of recyclables at three locations in the city.
By Keith Edwards, Kennebec Journal
Kennebec Journal news story
AUGUSTA — A drop-off, single-sort recycling program kicks off Friday in Augusta, starting a six-month experiment in which residents will be able to recycle more types of materials.
Residents won’t have to sort different types of recyclable materials from each other, only from their garbage.
The city’s curbside program, in which residents have to sort recyclables and which doesn’t take as many types of materials, will continue during the single-sort trial.
With single-sort, all recyclables – cardboard, metal, glass, plastic and paper – can be dropped together in containers at the Hatch Hill landfill and the John Charest Public Works Facility on North Street. There will be a third container in the parking lot at Augusta City Center once snow melts.
The single-sort recycling container at the public works complex will be accessible during operating hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no charge to use it and no sticker is required.
A container at the landfill, which takes waste from Augusta and seven other area municipalities, will be accessible from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Users of the Hatch Hill recycling container will be charged $1 for one bag of recyclables or a minimum of $2.50 for up to about 200 pounds of recyclables. Regular customers can still bring in their trash and recycling at the same time, and get a discount on their garbage rate if they recycle, said Lesley Jones, the city’s public works director.
City officials expect a big initial response to the program, which will be run in conjunction with ecomaine, a nonprofit recycling and waste-to-energy firm in Portland.
“I’m anticipating the first couple of weeks will be pretty busy. Some people have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Jones. “I’ve heard some people have been saving up bags of stuff waiting for this.”
The city now accepts recyclables, including newspapers, magazines, steel cans, corrugated cardboard, clear glass containers and No. 2 clear plastic such as milk jugs, in its curb-side program. It doesn’t take non-corrugated cardboard such as cereal boxes or white milk jugs or other types of plastic.
Ecomaine accepts a much wider variety of recyclables, including plastics No. 1 through No. 7, most types of paper, clear or colored glass, cans, aluminum, cereal boxes, plastic grocery bags and wrapping paper.
“It’s a new program for Augusta, and single-sort accepts a much broader range of recyclables, so we want to let people know all about this ….,” said Frank Gallagher, communications director for ecomaine. “We want to spread the word about what you can and cannot recycle….”
While the once-a-month curbside program will continue, residents cannot participate in the single-sort program by leaving their recyclable items curbside.
On Friday, there will be presentations and information at the public works center. Ecomaine is also hosting several informational presentations in Augusta. The first meetings are 3-6 p.m. Tuesday at Augusta City Center.