The Wilkes-Barre city council approved switching from single-stream to dual-stream recycling and set the annual sewage transmission and recycling fees at $50 each. The council unanimously voted to amend the recycling ordinance to require separation of paper and cardboard from all other recyclable materials for curbside collection rather than allowing the commingling of all recyclables, which is the current city policy.
During a work session that preceded the meeting, Mayor George Brown asked the council to approve the switch because he expected it would lead to reduced tipping fees, cleaner streets and “more productive collection.” Brown told a reporter before the meeting that the current tipping fee for commingled recyclables was currently about $100 per ton, which includes a recent 30% increase. He said he expected switching to dual-stream recycling as well as switching recycling drop-off stations would reduce the fee by 25% to 35%.
Brown said his administration is in negotiations with Solomon Container Services to accept the city’s collected recyclables at the company’s Municipal Recovery Inc. drop-off site on Stanton Street, which has the double benefit of helping a company in the city and saving the city money. The city currently unloads its recycling trucks at GSL, formerly Northeast Cartage, in Hanover Twp.