Last night I attended the Lewisville Town Council meeting to see the swearing in of several new Council members, and that was fun, but what was most interesting was what I learned during a presentation by a representative of Waste Management to the new Council. It seems that Waste Management is going to open a new single stream recycling operation in Forsyth County some time between May and July of 2012. What that means is that Waste Management's customers will be getting a new container that is the same size as their regular trash containter, but will be intended for recyclables. In that container they'll be able to put all recycling materials (paper, plastic, metal, etc.) without sorting them and putting them in smaller containers as they do now. It also means that recycling pickups will only happen every other week.
I didn't take good notes during the meeting, but if I remember correctly the Waste Management representative said that in other parts of the country where the single stream recycling has been introduced they've seen a significant increase in recycling and a significant reduction in solid waste going to the landfill. All of that's good news as far as I'm concerned.
The Waste Management rep also showed a six minute video of one of their single stream recycling operations in Florida. I couldn't find that one online, but I did find another of their videos about the process:
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this facility has in Forsyth County. At a minimum I hope it lengthens the life span of our landfill, and really I hope it's the first step in getting us to the point where technology eliminates the need for a landfill altogether, or the need to truck our garbage somewhere else when our landfill is at capacity (Yeah, I'm a big dreamer).