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Re: [GreenYes] Single-stream ergonomics

There is another important point about single-stream collection that I have not seen mentioned in this discussion, and that is the ease of changing the types of materials that are collected.  For example, the City of Long Beach provides single-stream collection, with residents putting all recyclable materials into one bin and collection in a single-compartment truck.  At some point, we added mixed paper to the list of materials that we accept.  All we needed to do was inform the public that they could put their junk mail into their bin -- no new bins, no big educational campaign (just a little educational campaign).  The first month that we added mixed paper (April 2000), we collected about 26 tons of the stuff, which is pretty close to the amount we have collected monthly ever since.

This is not to argue for or against single-stream collection, merely to raise another issue.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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