ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — City officials from Royal Oak and Clawson say all residents will receive their new South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority 65-gallon recycling carts by mid- to late August.
More than half of Royal Oak residents had received delivery of the carts to their homes as of last week, with the remainder scheduled for delivery in the coming weeks.
Royal Oak Director of Public Services and Recreation Greg Rassel said the city is a little ahead of schedule.
“We’re hoping to be done by the 18th,” he said. “But I think we’ll be done with distribution prior to that with the speed that it’s going.”
Clawson City Manager Mark Pollock said residents should expect delivery of their recycling carts between Aug. 16 and 20.
Pollock said switching from the bins to the wheeled carts is not mandatory, but he encourages all residents to try the carts.
“Every residential home will be offered a bin, and they are hoping they will at least take it and try it and wheel it out there,” he said.
Pollock said he personally is looking forward to receiving his, because the new carts not only hold more, but they also do not require any type of pre-sorting or separating by item type.
Rassel said the new single-stream recycling simplifies the sorting method and makes recycling a much easier process for residents and the city’s collection contractor.
He said SOCRRA has shown that a conversion to single-stream recycling can increase recycling rates by more than 50 percent.
Rassel said it has been a longtime goal of SOCRRA to convert its participating communities to single stream.
SOCRRA Organizational Development Manager Colette Farris said the current recycling system is called dual stream, which means paper or cardboard items must be pulled out and separated from plastic and metal items.
“For the residents, the direction was always curbside bins, that you could put any cans and bottles loose in the recycling bin, and we asked that you bundle or bag any of the paper or cardboard separately,” she said.
Now, with mixed recycling, the hope is that since residents won’t have to separate any materials, they’ll be more likely to recycle more items instead of throwing them into the trash.
“We are in the process of constructing a whole new facility that will process … mixed recycling,” Farris said. “It just means from a resident’s perspective, with the carts that are coming, you can just put everything in the cart. You don’t have to bundle any paper or try to keep it separate. The whole cart is just going to get dumped into one part of the truck, and any sorting that happens, it’s going to happen at our facility. So it’s intended to simplify a bit for residents.”
The rollout began in mid-July and will conclude in mid-September, according to Farris, with 110,000 households being served across the SOCRRA communities.
“As soon as they get the bin, they can start using it,” Rassel said. “There should be instructions attached to the bin with its delivery.”
Most materials may be placed in the cart with the exception of Styrofoam, scrap metal, paint and chemicals, plastic bags, electronics and batteries. Trash, food and liquids should also not be placed in the cart.
Cardboard must be flattened completely and reduced to no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet in size.
Recyclers in all impacted communities may keep their old bins or return them to SOCRRA at 995 Coolidge Highway to be recycled.
Rassel said anyone with questions should call SOCRRA directly at (248) 288-5150.
Staff Writer Michael Koury contributed to this story.