Summerville restarting recycling program after more than 5 years

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 3:40 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Summerville has restarted its single-stream recycling program after more than five years.

The first set of recycling cans containing a mixture of paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and glass were picked up on Monday. Summerville stopped it’s single-stream recycling back in 2015 when Charleston County shut down its recycling center.

However, with the county opening up its new Materials Recovery Facility in December, the town jumped into action to make recycling a priority. Mary Edwards, the town’s public information officer, say recycling is back by popular demand.

“This is something that people requested us to do. Council and staff have been able to work well together on this to be able to bring this service back to the community,” Edwards said.

Edwards says this effort will help keep waste out of the landfill, effectively saving at least $12 a year per house hold.

Carolina Waste is handling the collection. They currently run a recycling service in Summerville, but only for cardboard and paper. The new service does not add any additional operations on their part.

The company say this is a big deal for recycling in general because it means that the recycling economy is coming back after the industry was decimated by import regulations in China several years ago. China is the number one importer of American recyclables.

Edwards says it’s important to make sure that what’s being put in the bins can actually be recycled.

“We have really been utilizing our social media platforms to let people know what they can and can’t recycle,” Edwards said. “Thing like food, oil, any grease, rope or Styrofoam - these are big nos. We want to make sure people are recycling correctly.”

Recyclables that are contaminated by trash can ruin the finished product and may not be able to be sold and turned into something new. You can find a full list of dos and don’ts here.

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