Last month, when Nancy Bargar of Lakewood thanked the Lakewood Village Board for a new service, she was probably speaking for a lot of village residents.
Bargar thanked village officials for zero-sort recycling, which means people can simply put their paper materials, cardboard, tin, glass and plastic all into one container. In December, the village was able to make the switch to zero-sort recycling after Casella Resource Solutions purchased Penhollow Disposal Services.
In April 2012, Lakewood officials signed a three-year contract for waste and recycling services for village residents with Penhollow. Penhollow's service didn't provide zero-sort recycling. At the time of the contract discussions, John Penhollow said it would cost the village more for single-stream recycling because of low volume. He said his business can market recyclables better if they are separated. However, when Casella took over Penhollow's contract with the village, recycling was switched to zero-sort.
"I've received several comments. Village residents appreciate the zero-sort recycling," said David Wordelmann, village mayor. "It takes the thinking out of what goes what night, that is what I really like. Also, you don't have to have as many bins for each recyclable, that makes it easier."
When village officials were discussing a new garbage contract in 2012, Wordelmann said they received a bid from both Penhollow and Casella. He said Penhollow's bid was about $50,000 less than Casella's. The mayor said one of the differences in the two contract offers was the zero-sort recycling service.
"Once Casella took over for Penhollow they had to follow the contract we agreed to," Wordelmann said. "So that is why we have this service (zero-sort recycling) available now, and we didn't have to pay more to receive it."
Wordelmann said he hasn't received any negative comments from residents about the new recycling.
"The only thing is some people get confused what night is recycling since they only pick it up every other week," he said. "We sent out a flyer detailing what weeks they pick it up and what ones they don't."
Acceptable zero-sort recycling items include: cardboard, clean boxboard like shoe boxes and cereal boxes; office paper, white and colored; magazines; newspapers; junk mail; envelopes, manila and regular; file folders; computer paper; Post It notes; card stock paper; aluminum cans; tin cans; glass bottles and jars; and plastic bottles. Not acceptable items include: food waste; Styrofoam; plastic bags; printer cartridges, toner or inkjet; cellphones; batteries; computers or other electronics; and glassware.