Fullsize Rollout Recycling about to be Rolled out in Raleigh

February, 25, 2010, by David

Fullsize Rollout Recycling about to be Rolled out in Raleigh
Advertise on NR

Like this, but probably a different color.

For many folks as much or more material gets recycled rather than thrown away.  City council has unanimously voted to move to 95 gallon recycling roll carts, just like the garbage cans you already use.  By July 25% of the city will be using the rollout carts.  Then 25% more of the city will be added each year after.  These carts have many advantages,  one of the first that comes to mind is the ability to recycle entire collections of books, magazine, newspapers and other print media as the internet causes their use to collapse.

1,000 test customers will be the first to receive service starting in may. Their routes are NW22, NE27, SW22 and SE24. See if your route is included here.

Summary from the city:

  • Raleigh Recycling will begin phasing in biweekly roll cart recycling beginning July 1
  • Four test areas of 1,000 households will start around May 1
  • 95 gallon size roll cart will be used
  • Carts will be blue with graphics of the items accepted embedded in the lids
  • For residents wishing a smaller size a 65 gallon cart will be available (post card will be sent prior to delivery with # to call)
  • For a very limited number of townhome/condo communities green bins MAY still be used. This will be decided on a case by case basis and will be community wide based on the truck servicing the area.
  • Once carts are delivered, recyclables will not be collected if they are set out in green bins.
  • Residents will be allowed to keep their green bins if they wish to store their recyclables indoors and transport them out to the cart. Those not wishing to keep their bin will have them picked up when their cart is delivered.

That is all that we have at this time and it is subject to change.

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Waste ManagementRecycling

  • Drew B
    02/25 12:04 PM

    Is this from the city website? i can’t seem to find it and am looking for more details. Mostly hoping to be in the first wave, those green bins are horrible.

  • David
    02/25 12:12 PM

    Drew I’m not sure where on the site it is, but I added the info I have about the first few routes being added.

  • ct
    02/25 12:51 PM

    Makes great sense. Nearly everyone on our block puts out a second recycling container of some type because the green bin isn’t large enough. Should also reduce trips to neighborhood recycling centers—and that helps many people in North Raleigh because the City closed the neighborhood recycling center on Creedmoor Rd and hasn’t opened a replacement nearby.

  • miamiblue
    02/25 01:01 PM

    I’m glad they’re doing this. We always have much more recycling that garbage. Now if only we can get the city to DECREASE the size of the garbage carts. I think this would encourage people who do not recycle everything they possibly can into doing so, since they won’t have as much room to store the garbage.

    Also, expanding the recycling facilities to accept plastics such as margarine tubs, yogurt containers, etc. would be a huge step up. I cannot believe the only plastic we are allowed to recycle is “bottles” as defined by the City of Raleigh. There is a LOT of plastic that is ending up in our landfills unnecessarily. I still do not understand why the plastic recycling here is not number based, which seems to be standard practice in most other cities.

  • Jen
    02/25 01:09 PM

    I’m really glad they’re doing this - the green bins are always overflowing. Does anyone know when more details about the program will be available? I’m curious about what exactly we’ll be able to put in the larger roll carts.

  • Drew B
    02/25 01:18 PM

    Funny, I never would have suspected that everyone hated them for being too small. I hate it because by the time it gets full enough to take to the curb (usually a couple months) everything is rain soaked and full of water. At least the new cans will have a lid.

  • revolu
    02/25 01:23 PM

    very awesome. our recycling was overflowing by monday. it’d be nice to have a bigger container with wheels no doubt.

  • tc
    02/25 01:40 PM

    WOO-HOO!!  SW22!!

    Looks like my it’s my lucky day.

  • ct
    02/25 01:59 PM

    Depends, in part, on family size. Two athletic teenagers in the house will produce massive amounts of recycled containers.

  • JJ
    02/25 02:17 PM

    “biweekly roll cart recycling.”  Does this mean that recycling will be picked up twice weekly?  That sounds expensive.

    I’m surprised Raleigh is only now rolling out these large containers.  Other NC cities have been using them for years.  Not only have they been beneficial for the environment, but cities have been able to increase revenue from selling more recycled tonnage.

    Perhaps Raleigh isn’t as progressive as is oft advertised.

  • Micah
    02/25 02:22 PM

    Bi-weekly means every other week.

  • JP
    02/25 02:25 PM

    I’m glad to see this coming. I like the message that people should think of recycling as equal to garbage in their waste stream. I think the biggest win is the ease of recycling cardboard boxes now, not having to break them down to pieces no larger than 3x3. Also, less trash will get blown around from open bins.

    Like others I wish there were more things we could recycle. With the current restrictions, these carts are huge for most households. I’ll have to keep this in my garage with the regular garbage bin and it is annoying to have to lose all that space. Hopefully the 65 gallon one will have a smaller footprint. I also worry that the size of the cart might discourage some from recycling because they don’t feel like dealing with another cart or dont have room for it. I suppose those will be outweighed by others who’s bin overflow was going in the trash. And I keep hope that we will eventually be able to recycle other plastics, etc.

  • Jenna
    02/25 02:36 PM

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the small green bins, but I can’t say I’m happy with this change either. I really wish the city of Raleigh would allow homeowners to just provide their own trash cans and recycle bins (maybe they could just insist on a certain color).

    Frankly, I have no idea where this will fit in my tiny townhouse-sized backyard. The trash can (which is already way too big) takes up enough room as it is.

  • JJ
    02/25 02:50 PM

    Merriam-Webster says biweekly can mean both: either twice a week or twice monthly? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biweekly

    So which one is it?

  • Brocktoon
    02/25 02:53 PM

    Glad to see this advancement.  Coming from Dallas where this is standard practice, I was discouraged by the small green container. Also, you could have more than one rolling can.  Even though there were only two of us, we filled up two cans every two weeks.  Amazing how much can be recycled!
    I have to second the above motion for numbered plastic recycling.  It makes things much easier, and does prevent so much extra material from ending up in the landfill.  However, by not having a program like this in place, I have found that I don’t purchase as many products that come in non recyclable packaging.

  • Little Timmy
    02/25 03:23 PM

    Excellent! No more concealing two bins full of beer, wine, and liquor bottles with newspapers and cereal boxes!

  • sally
    02/25 03:40 PM

    I believe that in this case, bi-weekly means every other week. By providing a bigger bin, they can pick up less frequently - thus saving money.

    And furthermore, one reason to choose this particular bin is that they have those trucks that can pick them up, thus requiring fewer people to work the route (again, saving money). And that’s another reason you can’t use the bin of your choice.

  • ct
    02/25 03:59 PM

    Pickup will be every two weeks. The city’s website says that households will be given an opportunity to opt for a smaller cart. But the whole premise is that the carts can be emptied by the “one-armed-bandit” trucks that collect garbage today. So, no other containers will be allowed for recycling—just like garbage.

    I’m not surprised that the City is moving slowly to convert recycling pickups to carts. When they converted garbage to carts, the City didn’t get the math right on how long it would take a truck to cover a neighborhood. Households weren’t getting their garbage picked up until after 6 pm, or even the next morning. Eventually the City worked out the problems… probably by adding crews and equipment, meaning that the City didn’t get all the cost savings that they expected.

  • Michelle
    02/25 04:23 PM

    I’m so excited to hear about this! My house (family of 5) puts out 2 or 3 bins of recycling per week, and usually only a trash bag or two in the garbage can. (We also compost, which cuts down on trash) It will be so much easier to just pull one big can then make three trips to the garage!

    I would really like to see Raleigh start taking more plastics, like another poster stated.

    Most Whole Foods locations takes #5 plastics (usually yogurt containers, butter tubs, etc) but many more people would put them in the bins then take them somewhere.

    And to Drew B. who stated it takes a few months to fill and take to the curb, obviously you are doing something wrong.  Don’t think of paper just as a newspaper or plastic just as a milk jug. Think all of your paper, think of every drink container (soda, milk, juice, beer bottles, etc) think of cardboard like cereal boxes. Even if you live alone I’m sure you could fill a bin once every week or two.

  • Drew B
    02/25 05:21 PM

    Michell, I think you’d be surprised how easy it is for 1 or 2 people not to need much recycling. My roommate and I drink mostly water and beer(kegged) at home, maybe a bottle of juice or soda every couple weeks (milk goes bad too quickly to bother buying). There’s a little bit of junk mail. Maybe 1 or 2 boxes/cans of food per week.

    Really though, i think it’s fantastic that these work better no matter if you use more or less than average.

  • jfo
    02/25 11:37 PM

    I’m very excited. Those little green bins are just too small, and while I have no problem lifting mine, I am sure those who are unable to will appreciate being able to roll theirs to the curb.

    Now if we can only get the city to participate in this

  • dt
    02/26 03:55 AM

    I’ll tell you what I’m excited about, and that is the use of brocktoon by someone, just that is enough to celebrate but brooktoon and bigger recycle bins, is double awesome

  • Jason
    02/26 01:34 PM

    Little Timmy—best comment ever on N.R.!

  • VaNC
    02/26 02:53 PM

    Am I the only one worried about glass and the one-armed bandit?

  • Mc
    02/28 12:15 AM

    I’m mixed on this.  Like Jenna, I won’t have much space behind my townhome.  The current green bin, we just keep in the kitchen which is nice and convenient.  Even more specific to me, it’s an additional bin to pull up a hill.  I suspect the plastic restrictions have more to do with whatever sorting method the vendor is using than what they can actually process and I agree with others, I wish they’d fix it.

    Drew B, we had a problem with milk too until we were tipped off that organic milk keeps longer than the regular.  It gives us more of a chance to finish before it goes bad.

  • smitty
    02/28 06:14 PM

    Organic milk lasts longer only if it is UHT pasteurized, which makes it taste weird in my opinion.

  • Micah
    03/01 04:34 PM

    Milk will keep a LOT longer if it is kept very cold, like 35 degrees.  Most people have no idea what temp their refrigerator is set to.  Get an inexpensive thermometer to verify you are holding foods at 35-40.  Also, milk with less fat (like skim) will keep a lot longer than whole milk.  Oh, and I have recently noticed that some of my friends will literally call milk spoiled the day it expires.  Give it a sniff…It might be good for many more days (especially if you are holding it around 35 degrees!).

  • swarthy
    03/03 11:42 AM

    Actually, it would be cheaper for the city and better for the environment if everyone quit recycling everything that’s not aluminum.


  • ct
    03/03 11:55 AM

    Easy for Penn and Teller to say. They don’t have to scout the North Carolina countryside looking for sites for new landfills. When the new landfill near Shearon Harris fills up, I have no idea what Raleigh and Wake will do. What’s not included in the Penn and Teller mathematics is the going-forward cost of acquiring new land for landfills and the increasingly high fuel and labor costs incurred by Raleigh and Wake to drive trucks farther into the countryside to reach the new landfills.

  • swarthy
    03/03 12:21 PM

    Compared to the increasingly high fuel and labor costs of sending multiple trucks through every neighborhood in service of an ideal that costs more both in pollution and actual dollars than just throwing your garbage in a hole?

    What does the City pay for recycling efforts? How much could be saved if they quit completely? And what difference would that money make in the quality of, say, social services or education if it were diverted to those programs instead?

    If you watched the video, you’d know that nationally, it costs about three times as much (in dollars) to recycle than to landfill, and that the processes required to recycle most materials are actually worse for the environment than creating from virgin sources. The going-forward costs were clearly worse.

  • ct
    03/03 12:26 PM

    I did watch it. You’re confusing average costs and marginal costs, just like the video did.

  • swarthy
    03/03 12:42 PM

    What marginal costs do you believe increase disproportionately when comparing recycling to landfilling?

    Recycling facilities are regularly moved farther from the city center as the property they occupy becomes more valuable than their use, or as surrounding homes and businesses chase them out due to the stench and noise they create.

    Your presumed increases in the costs of land for landfilling constitute a non sequitur as an argument: we can not know these things.

    What we do know is that your argument says that we must recycle because the costs of collection will only rise going forward. If we assume that to be true, then it must follow that the costs of collecting both garbage and recycling with separate trucks will be that much higher. Driving two stinky diesel garbage trucks around town is clearly worse than driving only one. We also know that the process of recycling costs much more than the process of landfilling, and that recycling is not one that has benefited from economies of scale.

    The video is roughly 30 minutes long. Only ten minutes transpired between my comment and yours. Your comments indicate that you’re not fully familiar with the arguments they make in the video. Perhaps you should watch it again. And this time, ask yourself: as a society, should we support environmental policies with clear, measurable benefits, or should we pursue those that are actually worse for us, but make us feel like we’re doing something good?

  • ct
    03/03 02:16 PM

    C’mon, the episode originally aired in 2004 and has been available for viewing online for years now. P&T have been warped by looking at all the open desert between LA and Vegas! They are funny, though, and I especially like the scene at the end with the bikinis.

    But seriously, the costs of recycling and the costs of landfill consumption are fundamentally different. Recycling requires a processing station; as long as growth in the flow of inputs doesn’t exceed the capacity of the station, it can remain in place indefinitely.

    Landfills, on the other hand, are a consumable for which new tracts of land must regularly be acquired. Go over to Rocky Mount or Wilson and watch the CSX freight trains carrying trash from the Northeast to South Carolina. Well, that’s the problem in many places—not in SoCal or Nevada, though, where the desert is basically free. Over time, the cost of a landfill rises as suitable land must be acquired at market rates. In the vicinity of Wake County, this is getting more troublesome as farmers sell out to residential or commercial real estate developers. We are fortunate that there’s a “dead zone” for development (figuratively speaking) around Shearon Harris, but it won’t last forever. The next step will be to ship our trash to Warren or Northampton County. Hang around… it’s an inevitability.

    I do agree, however, that the only materials that have an intrinsic value for recycling are metals. Of course, the market value of aluminum can fluctuate a lot.

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