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Single-stream recycling debuts in Youngwood

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

Recycling will be much easier for residents of Youngwood, with single-stream collection beginning Monday.

The necessary carts were delivered to the approximately 1,200 households in the borough throughout December, said Youngwood Secretary Diane Derco.

Recycling tonnage is expected to increase, since glass bottles and jars, metal and aluminum cans, most plastic containers and jugs, flattened boxes and cardboard, and newspapers all go into one container, rather than separate bins.

The resulting increase in tonnage will keep the residents' garbage bills from increasing, while decreasing landfill use.

“That's what we're hoping for,” said Derco, who added that the increase in recycling will enhance the grant application sent into the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“We apply every year for a recycling grant through the DEP. The borough has had recycling for at least 10 years,” Derco said.

Republic Services Inc. is the hauler Youngwood has been using for more than two decades.

“I've been here for about 20 years and there was probably only about three years that the borough hasn't used Republic,” Derco said. “The name may have changed over the years, but they've always had our contracts.”

Calendars have been sent out with the carts, so residents know when to put their cart near the curb for the twice-per-month recycling pickup.

“The residents can tell what weeks to put their carts out by the street list we sent out,” said Andrea Ansell, office manager at the Scottdale site of Republic Services Inc.

“The tonnage does increase in the municipalities where we do single-stream recycling, which makes it easier for residents. We have quite a few municipalities doing single-stream recycling nationally. Locally, Youngwood is the third community with these carts,” Ansell said. “The other two are Plum and Murrysville.”

The information sent to residents details the materials to recycle and items that are not to be recycled.

Excluded items include aluminum foil, plastic wrap and utensils, mirrors and window glass, as well as light bulbs.

Ansell stressed the importance of placing the container within 3 feet of the curb, or street, for the automated pickup.

The carts look like wheeled garbage cans that have a bar on the front, below the lid opening. The truck lifts the container by this bar to dump the contents.

“If the container is farther away, it can't be retrieved,” Ansell said.

Other tips include:

• Keep the lid shut to keep out animals and precipitation.

• Keep all materials inside the cart.

• Avoid placing the container within 3 feet of any obstruction such as a mailbox, fire hydrant, utility pole or parked car.

Rose Domenick is a freelance writer.