A year and a half ago, the I-Team first exposed all recycling collected by city crews simply getting dumped in a landfill.
Since then, city hall has been talking about and working toward remaking the program.
So far, most residents are not showing any interest in taking part and city hall is not yet ready to restart the program.
Under the new program, residents need to sign up to have recycling collected by city crews.
Days before the deadline, only 7,634 trash customers have signed up. Councilman Anthony Brancatelli says that’s out of about 100,000.
Brancatelli has been watching this closely. Weeks ago, an internal memo showed two-thirds of the people signing up for the new recycling program are downtown and in sections of the west side.
“We really have been pushing our residents. It’s been a slow response, especially slow on the east side, for people to opt in,”Brancatelli said.
No matter how many people take part, the I-Team again has asked when the new program will finally get started. City hall has said before it should begin by the end of the year, but will it?
The city has not yet hired a company to haul away the recycling collected by city crews. City hall is still working on that. The city also plans to bring on a recycling coordinator to run the new program, but that person is just expected to start work in the coming days.
A spokesperson wrote in an email, “Start date of the new curbside recycling program will be contingent upon bid responses for recycling services. The city is optimistic we will receive competitive bids for recycling services and will still be able to resume recycling services by the end of the year as planned.”
“Finding vendors, right now, has been a challenge, and it has been slower. Residents have been asking for this to speed up. We are hoping we are getting closer. Right now, we are still in the opt-in phase,” councilman Brancatelli added.
Residents who have signed up for the program consider it the right thing to do to keep recyclable materials out of landfill.
Others who are undecided have been waiting, in part, to see what they can recycle and how the new program will work.
The deadline for signing up is Oct. 22.
You can opt into the recycling program here.