Residents Won't Have To Sort Items Beginning In 2014

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Starting in 2014, Brookhaven, Long Island, homeowners will no longer have to check their calendars before putting out their recycling.

As CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported, workers at the Brookhaven recycling center currently have to sort recyclables by hand, which is the reason residents are forced to put newspapers out on the curb one day, but cans and plastics out on another.

Soon, that will all change.

Town Supervisor Ed Romaine announced a deal Wednesday with the private operators of the town-owned recycling center, Greenstream Recycling, to spend $7 million modernizing the plant with high-tech gadgets to allow workers to process all recyclables at the same time.

“Brookhaven Town will become the first town on Long Island to go with single-stream recycling,” Romaine said.

“We’ll be using magnets,” said Will Flower of Greenstream Recycling. “We’ll be using materials to separate out the aluminum. We’ll be using optical sorters, so that these electric eyes will take a look at the different types of plastics and actually be able to separate them by color.”

Town officials say the changes won’t cost taxpayers a dime, and they will help the environment.

Environmentalists are cheering the conversion, saying it could boost recycling by as much as 20 percent.

The sweeping change is also being heartily welcomed by residents, long tired of figuring out when to put out their recycling.

“I think it would be great,” said Lori Ward, of Brookhaven. “It makes my life much easier.”

“It doesn’t have to be three different days,” said Paige Purificato, of Brookhaven. “I think it’s better all in one day.”

The single-day pick-ups will begin Saturday, Jan. 4 and then every Wednesday after that.

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