Recycling to get easier in new year
By ANDREW MCGINN
Under current rules, it’s arguably easier for someone in Greene County to come up with a way to single-handedly reverse climate change, save the world’s polar bears and replant the Amazon rainforest than it is to recycle at their own curbside.
The requirement to sort recyclables into four categories in a single bin to be picked up every other week leads many residents to take all that plastic, metal, glass and paper to dropoff bins at Genesis Development — or worse, simply throw it away.
Beginning Jan. 2, recycling in Greene County will get a whole lot easier.
“Having to sort like we were doing was cumbersome,” said Karen Pound, billing clerk at City Hall in Jefferson.
All cities in Greene County — except Scranton, which doesn’t participate in the county program — will switch to a “dual stream” system of curbside recycling in the new year.
In the new system, only paper, including cardboard, will need to be kept separate from cans, plastic and clear glass, which can be combined.
That will be the extent of sorting for residents.
A recovery facility like Genesis will sort the rest from there, according to Dick Pound, Karen’s husband and chairman of the Greene County Recycling Agency.
“It’s a constant battle to get people to recycle,” Dick Pound said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make it as easy as possible.”
The changes are the result of a recycling survey this past February.
Greene County residents pay a $3.50 recycling fee on their water bill whether they use the curbside recycling service or not, Karen Pound said.
The fee won’t increase with the switch to a new system, she said.
The pickup schedule will remain the same as well, but should be easier to remember with the availability of new refrigerator magnets containing pickup dates.
“I don’t know how you can go wrong with that,” Dick Pound said.
If residents want to separate recyclables using two different bins, a second bin will be available at no cost from their city hall, he said.
It’s difficult to determine how many residents use the curbside service or choose to use the dropoff bins at Genesis, which originally were intended for rural residents, Dick Pound said.
“We would like it to be more popular,” Karen Pound said of curbside pickup.
Greene County was an early adopter of recycling, according to Dick Pound, with the program now in its 20th year.
“I’m thoroughly convinced that recycling is cheaper than landfilling,” he said.