Northern New York Newspapers
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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena DPW taking non-separated recycables


MASSENA - Massena residents won’t have to worry about separating their recyclables, starting Friday.

Department of Public Works officials are asking residents to mix recyclable paper, plastic, metal and glass items into one bin, no more than 35 gallons in capacity. DPW Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad said the DPW has considered the concept of mixed-material recycling for about eight months and that the policy is possible due to changes in how recycling is handled by St. Lawrence County. He hopes the new policy will encourage residents to recycle more.

“We hope to increase recycling by making it more user-friendly,” Mr. Fayad said.

The new recycling policy will not affect which materials one may recycle or the manner in which they are recycled. Broken glass and plastic garbage bags, among other items, are not recyclable, and cardboard boxes should be broken down or flattened. Recyclables should also be cleaned out, and residents should cover their bins in order to prevent paper and cardboard items from becoming wet.

“A little wetness in cardboard or paper is OK. But when it’s soggy and it falls apart in your hands, we don’t want it. It no longer has user value,” Mr. Fayad said.

He also pointed out that municipalities are now charged $44 per ton for refuse dumped at the Rodman landfill, and the village is also charged $78 per ton for garbage transported to the landfill from the county’s transfer station in Massena, totalling $122. Meanwhile, the DPW is charged only $40 to dump and transport a ton of recycling. The savings of increased local recycling may help the DPW avoid having to make additional increases to the monthly refuse rate of $21.50.

There will be a public hearing at the village’s Board of Trustees Feb. 6 meeting on a proposed $1.50 increase to the monthly refuse rate. That increase is a result of steady increases in the cost to dump and transport refuse. Over the last four years, the tipping fee jumped $25 per ton of refuse, the most recent hike being a $5 per ton increase at the start of this year, according to Mr. Fayad.

“It’s to (an individual’s) benefit to recycle as much as possible, both for the longevity of our environment as well as savings to an individual’s pocketbook,” Mr. Fayad said.

Mr. Fayad said the DPW may use its possible savings from increased recycling to seek an alternative to paying the county for refuse transportation. “We’re looking at different ways to transport our refuse. I think we can transport our trash for less than $78 (per ton),” he said.

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