Revere Department of Public Works Director Paul Argenzio said the recycling education program in the city is advancing smoothly in its first month.
As a result of a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the city was able to launch the program on July 8 to educate residents about the proper regulations for the disposal of recyclable materials.
“The grant is aimed at re-educating the public as to what they can recycle and what they can’t,” said Argenzio.
He said the reason recycling has become more costly than trash right now is because “people are not recycling properly.”
“The recycling is going to a recycling facility and all they’re getting is trash basically, so they have to dispose of it as trash,” explained Argenzio.
Argenzio said residents who have not been recycling correctly get a tag on their recycling bin. “Oops” stickers are placed on a resident’s recycling bins if they aren’t conforming to regulations.
“The sticker hangs on the handle and it informs the residents what they did wrong.” said Argenzio. “The recycling company pushes that bin aside and after a resident corrects the problem, the recycling company takes the bin on the next recycling day. If you get an ‘Oops’ sticker, you have to wait two weeks before we come back to pick up the recycling.”
Argenzio said there are no fines given to residents who are not recycling properly.
“This is purely educational – we’re not fining people,” he said.
“But we have to stop taking bins that are not recycling. The worst thing we’re finding is that people are bagging their recycling materials. They’ll take all their plastic items and put them in a trash bag and they’ll put the bag in the recycling bin. The recycling facilities are almost 100 per-cent automated so when the recycling goes on the different conveyor belts, they have a system designed to separate the plastic from the paper. If you put everything in a trash bag, when it gets to the recycling facility, the automated system can’t divide it up when it’s supposed to be. All recycling materials should be kept loose in the bins.