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What's Happening with Borough Recycling?

A new vendor in Chatham Borough.

Welcome to You Ask ... Patch Answers, the column for Chathamites looking for solutions to community problems or issues.

One reader asked,

What's going on with recycling? No pickup on Feb. 2, I assume because of the weather. No pickup on Feb. 9. If you drive down Tallmadge Avenue this morning, you will see our street looks a bit trashy! Did the Borough change recycling contracts? It used to be dependable.

Chatham Borough did change recycling vendors effective Jan. 1, when Waste Management took over the picking up of the recycleables. Waste Management offers single stream recycling, which allows residents to throw all recycleable materials into the same container without sorting plastics or tying newspapers. All papers, newspapers, cardboards, plastics Nos. 1 through 7, magazines and aluminum and steel cans can be placed into a single bin.

Weather has affected the recycling pick-up in these winter months. Snow and ice have prevented the trucks from coming into town more than once on the scheduled pickup day.

Jim Rotundo, the municipal marketing representative for Waste Management, said the two consecutive Wednesdays where snow and ice fell (Jan. 26 and Feb. 2) caused problems for the trucks. "We did go back and follow up after the snow, but we're assuming that residents took [their recycling] back in."

When on last Wednesday the trucks came as scheduled, Rotundo said the drivers reported "an overabundance" of recycling, far more than one week's worth. "The hours my guys are working, they couldn't get it done," Rotundo said.

"We didn't count on so much being out after the snow. ... [Residents] must have had it stockpiled up. It was just overwhelming. That'll never happen again."

Borough Mayor Nelson Vaughan said that if it does happen again, he will ask Rotundo to come before the Borough Council and explain the delays.

Mike Richichi February 14, 2011 at 07:19 PM
"We didn't count on so much being out after the snow. ... [Residents] must have had it stockpiled up. It was just overwhelming. That'll never happen again." Um, what were we supposed to do with the recycling? We legally can't throw it out. You don't come out one week, there's 2 weeks worth the next week. I'm not saying they should have been able to handle it but they should have expected it.
Duncan Munchkin February 14, 2011 at 09:12 PM
I like the picture of the nice big white truck that accompanies this article because that sure is NOT what is collecting recycling in my part of town. A couple weeks back we had ONE guy with a modified pick-up that had to make about 4 or 5 trips out with full loads to dump and return this was just to get around my loop. If I promise you single stream with a low bid and I come to pick up with a donkey and a cart, do I still get the job?
Nancy Lapid February 15, 2011 at 02:08 AM
I don't remember hearing the pickups would be on Wednesdays. What happened to every other Monday (south of the tracks)? Is it every Wednesday for everyone now? Every other Wednesday? This has not been a smooth transition. And there is so much recycling stuff in my garage now that there is hardly room for the car.

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