New recycling program promotes going and saving green

By Jon

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County leaders are hoping their new recycling program will inspire more people to go green while saving green.

County Council Vice Chairman Elliott Summey spent Tuesday morning going door-to-door in Park Circle, greeting residents and handing out brand new, state-of-the-art recycling bins.

The 65 gallon and 95 gallon barrels will replace the traditional two-container system. They feature wheels for easy loading and unloading, as well as sealable lids to cut down on curbside clutter.

The new barrels are all part of the county's new Single Stream Recycling Program.

Gone are the days of separating papers, plastics, cardboard and other recyclables. Now homeowners and renters can toss all of their recyclables in the same container.

The mixed recycling will be taken to nearby processing centers, cutting down on landfill costs and saving taxpayer money.

"This is obviously the right environmental thing to do. It's going to save money, and make things much more convenient," Summey said.{}{}

That added convenience is what many who received new barrels on Tuesday were looking forward to.

Irene Chinnes was thrilled at the sight of her new recycling bin. The self-professed "green living" senior said she hopes the new program will help inspire more people to reduce their environmental footprints and save her a heap of trouble getting her goods to the curb.

"It's a great thing," she said. "It's been quite difficult getting two bins without wheels back and forth to the front and I just think this is great."

Each barrel will cost between $50 and $60 dollars - money Summey says comes from the county's solid waste budget.

County officials believe the single stream program will actually save money by getting more people involved which in turn leads to more recyclables. They say the more recycled material that enters the processing center, the more money the county receives.{}{}

"The more we recycle, the more benefit we'll receive at the landfill," Summey said. "It will extend the life of the Bees Ferry Landfill and keep the cost of the landfill down."

Summey says keeping landfill space down also prevents having to transport waste to other counties.

Each of the barrels is also outfitted with a small electronic tracking device that will allow satellites to pin-point their location. That means no more searching in your neighbor's yard to find your bin.

The can also actually tracks the amount of recycled goods in each household - which will in turn help the county estimate the amount of recycled goods - keeping tax levels down.

Right now the new barrels are available to about 4,600 homes in West Ashley, James Island, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

County representatives hope to have the program available for everyone within the next two years.

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