Norwalk Department of Public Works Announces Updated Single-Stream Recycling List

Today, at a special press conference, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling was joined by the Norwalk Department of Public Works and City Carting to announce that beginning Monday, October 1, 2018, the city’s single-stream recycling collection list will be updated. Some items that were previously recyclable will no longer be accepted. For example, plastic bags and thin plastic film (including bubble wrap); Styrofoam; paper and single-use coffee cups; and straws are no longer recyclable.

This is not a decision made solely by the city, but rather, outside influences which are dictating changes. After China announced a ban on imported plastic, the recycling market was disrupted across the globe. Additionally, the State of Connecticut proposed a universal recycling list, which all municipalities are encouraged to follow.

“We want the public to know that throwing waste, or non-recyclable items into the recycling container can contaminate all of its contents. We ask that everyone pay attention to what’s in, and what’s out, to help keep our city clean,” said Mayor Rilling. “I encourage residents, as well as all city and school employees, to recycle as much as possible. Not only is it good for the environment, but it also saves taxpayer’s money by reducing what the city pays to dispose of its waste.”

Residents are encouraged to move to reusable products, like travel coffee cups and canvas tote bags, instead of relying on paper and plastic items. While not recyclable through the city, plastic bags can be returned to local supermarkets for disposal.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the City of Norwalk on these important changes to the city’s single-stream recycling program,” said Anthony Farina, Chief Operating Officer at City Carting.

The City of Norwalk launched single-stream recycling in July 2013 and distributed over 25,000 wheeled recycling bins, also called toters, to residents. After the first year of single-stream recycling, the city’s curbside recycling tonnage increased almost 2,000 tons, resulting in $200,000 in savings. Over the last five years, the city’s recycling tonnage continued to increase to nearly 9,000 tons collected annually.

“Launching single-stream recycling more than five years ago was a great move for the city,” said Bruce Chimento, Director of the Norwalk Department of Public Works.

In addition to knowing what is acceptable to recycle, residents can improve curbside single-stream recycling collection by:
- Putting all items, including cardboard, in the toter and not placing items on top of or outside of the toter;
- Keeping all items loose and not bag, wedge or jam items into the toter;
- Following the instructions on the lid of the toter about how to place it curbside to ensure it is easily accessible for automated truck collection;
- Not mixing garbage, liquids or other non-recyclable materials in the toter.

Large rigid plastic items, clothing, shoes, electronic items, light bulbs (fluorescent or regular), scrap metal, waste oil, antifreeze, and batteries are not recycled curbside. Most of these items are recyclable at the Norwalk Transfer Station with a valid City of Norwalk Recreation and Parks Resident Pass or permit.

For a complete recycling list, see the attached Norwalk Guide to Single-Stream Recycling flyer or visit www.norwalkct.org/recycling. For more information contact the Customer Service Center at (203) 854-3200.