Southold Town’s transfer station, located on Cox Ln. in Cutchogue, NY, is slated to move to a three-stream recycling system on Monday, Dec. 17. “As you may have heard, Long Island is in a recycling crisis,” a notice to residents said. “Due to changing market conditions, mixed ‘single stream’ recyclables are no longer marketable due to contaminants from broken glass and garbage. The town, therefore, will have to return to accepting only recyclables pre-sorted by residents.”
The three-stream program will be voluntary until Feb.3, and the town plans to engage in public outreach to educate residents, with handouts at the transfer station, news on the town’s website, an electric sign placed at the transfer station, ads and social media.
Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell reminded that the three-stream recycling program is not new. “Everything that’s old is new again,” he said. “It is merely reverting to the program in place prior to 2014. The public in Southold has great record for recycling so, I expect a smooth transition.”
At Tuesday’s work session, Jim Bunchuck, solid waste coordinator for Southold Town, discussed the upcoming changes. Justice Louisa Evans asked how seasonal residents would be kept up to speed with the new process; Bunchuck said they’d have to be told. He suggested perhaps information could be shared with residents renewing their transfer station stickers at the town clerk’s office.
“The reality is, they are probably coming from communities going through the same thing,” Russell said. “This is national in scope.” He added that many seasonal residents are out year-round on weekends and during the winter months, anyway.
Brookhaven and Smithtown are also embracing changes to their recycling systems. Of the changes, Bunchuck said, “I’m not saying it’s a piece of cake but we’re not going to be in crisis. We have a handle on it and I think the public will respond pretty quickly.”