PLATTSBURGH - From plastics to cardboard and everything in between, it can be confusing what can be recycled and what cannot. Now, Casella Waste Management is doing recycling made easy.
In November, Casella began to offer a new program to its customers - Zero-Sort Recycling.
"I think as everybody knows, we've been limited on what we can recycle" said market area manager Bill Meyers. "The biggest thing that I always see that pops out is plastics. Ones and twos, ones and twos. Now, ones through seven. Think about what you can pull out of your waste drain."
Meyers explained those who choose to take part in the program are given a 96 gallon container for all recyclables, including cardboard products such as toilet paper rolls and corrugated boxes; glass products such as wine and beer bottles of all colors; metal products such as pet-food containers and soup cans; paper products such as calendars and envelopes; and plastics such as ketchup and laundry detergent bottles.
"You don't have to sort it, just make sure it's clean, throw it all loose inside the container," said Meyers. "I think if you do those two things, people typically get very excited and say 'Okay, sign me up.'"
Once the recycling container is picked up, on an every other week basis, the containers are brought back to Casella.
"It's emptied out inside a building and from there it's scooped up and placed inside a compactor, which compacts it into a 53-foot trailer," said Meyers. "It compacts that material inside that trailer and once that trailer is full, it's then hauled over to the Chittenden Solid Waste District in Burlington."
Meyers said the solid waste district goes through a process in which the materials are separated.
"It gets sorted through conveyors, magnets, infrared lights and then at the very end of the process ... it comes out in relatively clean bails, separate," he explained.
Although the Zero-Sort Recycling program is only available to city of Plattsburgh residents, for $24.95 a month, Meyers said it won't stay that way forever.
"Our plan, and really it's our goal and it will happen, is probably within the next 12 months we'll be able to offer Zero-Sort over our entire service area," he explained, which includes all of Clinton and Essex counties and the southern half of Franklin County.
Casella is also working with some larger accounts that have interest in the program, including CVPH Medical Center, Paul Smiths College, Northwood School in Lake Placid and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
For more information about the Zero-Sort Recycling program, visit www.zerosort.com, and also watch a video of the process to sort the materials.
"It's easy, I think that's the biggest thing," said Meyers. "It's going to save you time, it's going to save you effort and money ... and then the other thing is it helps with the positive impact on the environment. The more we recycle, obviously the less material that goes into our landfills. If you put all those together, I don't see why you wouldn't do it."
To sign up for the program, contact Casella at 561-7021.