Tired of tossing out those margarine tubs and yogurt cups?
The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC) will soon bring single-stream recycling to the communities its serves, including Farmington and Farmington Hills, and will begin accepting wide-mouth plastics. Some time in 2012, customers will receive 96-gallon containers for all their recyclables, rather than having to sort them before putting them out on the curb.
The change will also mean adding agricultural plastics, like nursery trays, RRRASOC general manager Mike Csapo told Farmington and Farmington Hills officials Monday. Changes made to the authority's Southfield processing facility will triple the company's work force, with jobs from skilled trades to manual labor, he said.
"It also means additional revenues," Csapo said. He expects to re-capture some of the outside contracts RRRASOC has lost to other single-stream facilities in the metro Detroit area.
Changes will be made to the contract with Waste Management, which provides curbside pick-up for trash and recycling in both cities. Those will be brought to council meetings in January or February. Waste Management has agreed to provide the larger containers and also plans a conversion to trucks that run on natural compressed gas and are much quieter, Csapo said.
"You will begin to see those deployed over the next two to three years," he added.
Csapo said studies show that going to single-stream will increase recycling. Although both Farmington and Farmington Hills have a high level of participation, he expects that to jump by 40 percent.
"It's more efficient, and from the residents' standpoint, it's more convenient," he said.
Farmington council member Greg Cowley asked whether RRRASOC would also be expanding into the business community. Csapo said the company intends to work its way into that, possibly beginning with municipal buildings.
"I can't speak for the entire downtown, but I think you could put the downtown on a route," Cowley said.
Some items will be taken out of the recycling mix, Csapo said, including #3 plastics (largely PVC materials), ceramics and plastic bags. He said the goal of producing a more highly refined recycled glass, which is more marketable, led to the decision to eliminate ceramics. Plastic bags were taken out because not many are collected, and they are very likely to contaminate paper waste.
RRRASOC will undertake a public education campaign to ensure that no resident will be surprised by the changes, Csapo said.