No More Sorting: Ridgefield Switches to Single Stream Recycling

By Dia Sharma

HamletHub Intern

Before Monday, if you as a Ridgefield resident wanted to recycle, you had to separate everything: plastics, glass, paper, etc. With the partnership of Hudson Baylor and the Ridgefield Recycling Center, the residents of Ridgefield no longer have to do that, thanks to single-stream recycling.

“We’re very proud of the advancement here. The goal is to make it easier for residents to recycle, and ultimately, to attract more people to the practice of recycling,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi on Monday morning.

“What people don’t realize is that everything has value. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to recycle their products,” added Scott Tenney, President of Hudson Baylor Corporation.

Effective immediately, residents will no longer have to sort recyclables to dispose into designated bins. Instead, there are two large bins in which all recyclable materials can be deposited, and they will be sorted mechanically and manually. “We’re going to use three methods to filter the materials: mechanical, manual, and optical,” said Chris Coady, Director of Community Relations at Hudson Baylor Co. During the transition period, separate bins will still be available for those who still wish to sort their goods.

The best part? “There is no added cost for residents,” Mr. Marconi said.

Additionally, the new system also has a vacuum for plastic bags. “We really try to make it possible to recycle every possible thing you can. Absolutely everything is valuable to someone somewhere, and we try to make that connection between the consumer’s trash and someone else’s treasure,” shared Tim Flanagan, VP of Engineering and Safety at Hudson Baylor. Mr. Flanagan has been extremely involved with the current construction of the single-stream recycling plant in Beacon, New York, which will have about 30 tons of recycling output per hour.  The Beacon facility will also have an educational component, teaching consumers about the value of their goods, and where they go after they have been recycled.

“With the educational component as well as the simplicity of one drop, we’re hoping to increase the volume by about twenty to thirty percent,” said Mr. Flanagan.

“We know that people don’t like change, but this one is really for the better. It’s more convenient for people to recycle now; it’s simple. Everything goes in one bin, and the rest is taken care of,” said Mr. Marconi. “Most importantly, people who do not already recycle need to start. There is no longer an excuse. It’s so simple!”


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