Summerville residents concerned about changes to recycling program

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Summerville residents may have noticed a change in their recycling service this week in what the town is and isn't picking up. They may be less likely to realize the change has been in effect for months.

David Morey received notice this week that Summerville would only be pick up paper and cardboard for recycling.

"I have two barrels I fill up every week of juice bottles, soda bottles, water bottles," Morey said. "I couldn't imagine all those cans and bottles going into the landfills, it upset me a lot."

The town has been sending those recyclables to a landfill for the past three months.

"It upsets me that it's been going to the landfill all this time," Morey says. "And they have been going around in that recycling truck like it was nothing. If I'd known that I'd never would have let them take it"

Glass, tin and plastics were sent to the landfill after a contract between Charleston County and Sonoco Recycling ended July 31.

Sonoco Recycling processed mixed material at the Charleston County Material Recovery Facility, and cardboard and paper products at its facility in North Charleston.

"We want to recycle, we understand how important it is, but we just got dealt a bad deck here," Summerville Public Works Director Russ Cornette said.

Cornette says trucks continued picking up recycling.

"We wanted to keep residents in the habit of recycling because we knew we were going to make a change but didn't want to change it several times before we finalized what to do," Cornette said.

Pick up will continue for paper and cardboard. Residents can drop off glass, plastic and tin recyclables at a county convenience center to be recycled.

"We should be going forward, not backwards, if they knew this was going to happen something should have been done in advance," Morey says. "In Massachusettes if I threw a tin can or bottle in the trash it was a problem."

Morey says he doesn't recycle for fun but for his grandkids' future.

"I'm not going to stop recycling," he says.

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