Business invests $3M to streamline recycling.
Some area residents soon will have a new way to recycle.
BY DENISE ALLABAUGH (STAFF WRITER) / PUBLISHED: JANUARY 9, 2012
Rather than sorting paper and cardboard from plastic, glass and aluminum cans, a local business has invested in equipment that will allow residents who participate to use only one recycling container.
Northeast Cartage of Hanover Township has invested $3 million in technology called single stream recycling.
Frank Nockley, a partner in Northeast Cartage with his cousin Angelo Medico, showed off the new equipment as it awaits finishing touches. The equipment will allow the business to add 10 to 12 new hires to its current staff of about 17. The technology and employees will separate the materials, he said.
Single stream recycling makes the recycling process easier for residents and municipalities, Nockley said. It can lower collection costs, extend the life of landfills and create efficiencies for haulers by reducing the number of their routes to collect recyclables, he said.
Municipalities and haulers could use single compartment trucks, which are less expensive to purchase and operate. They also provide more flexibility to public works employees to do other projects, he said.
Officials from some municipalities, such as Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Edwardsville and Exeter, will use the new single stream recycling, he said. Others also have expressed interest, he said.
Kingston will begin single steam recycling in February. For residents, that will eliminate a paper collection every other week. Administrator Paul Keating said the new system will save Kingston $66,439 in one year on manpower.
By eliminating the paper collection and having a single weekly collection for all recyclable materials, he said Kingston can allocate manpower for other projects. Public works employees will have more time to plow streets and get parks and ball fields ready in the spring, he said.
"We're eliminating 26 paper collection periods. That's 26 weeks out of the year where I can allocate my resources for other projects as opposed to collecting curbside recycling," Keating said. "It's encouraging for residents because it's easier to recycle and we're hoping that our ratios of our recycled materials versus the landfill is more favorable."
Wilkes-Barre also will begin single stream recycling in February. Like Kingston, residents will not have to put out a separate collection for papers but will co-mingle their recycled materials in a single container twice a month. The days residents recycle will depend on the city zone and will be outlined in city calendars and an upcoming press conference, city spokesman Drew McLaughlin said.
"It is more efficient for city residents to just co-mingle in a single container," McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin also said single stream recycling will free up manpower to do other projects and save money.
Communities get reimbursed from the state based on recycling performance, and officials in both Kingston and Wilkes-Barre hope the new technology will encourage more people to recycle and decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills.
"Recycling rates will increase because people will be able to recycle easier and municipalities will get more money from the state," Nockley said.
The recyclable materials are never outside in the elements, but are separated to avoid health concerns like storm water leaching and other complications associated with wind, ice, snow and rain, he said.
Northeast Cartage's processing plant was constructed on a 40,000-square-foot plant on Earth Conservancy land in Hanover Township five years ago, but it began as a waste hauling business 12 years ago, Nockley said.
His business works together with the family-owned Louis Cohen and Sons recycling center in Hanover Township. The division that houses the separation equipment is called Northeast Recycling Solutions.
Northeast Recycling Solutions is the only municipal recycling processor within a 65-mile radius to offer all the necessary separation equipment for single stream recycling, Nockley said.
"This single stream type of recycling has been around for 10 to 15 years, but it's predominately noticed in large cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where you have a big population," Nockley said. "This technology is here to stay. This is what's expected in recycling."