Orange Is The New Yellow: BPU To Deliver New Bins

Orange is the new yellow when it comes to Jamestown recycling.

Starting in the middle of February, the delivery of new orange bins will be occurring for BPU residential solid waste customers. The bins will be part of the new residential recycling credit program.

Starting in March, the BPU will start tracking who recycles. Those who recycle will be given a credit or discount on their solid waste bill. Starting in May, the new monthly charge for solid waste will be $20. However, your bill will only be $10 if you recycle. The current BPU rate for garbage and recycling collection is $12.10.

Mike Saar, BPU deputy general manager of water resources, said there will be a newsletter inside each bin when they’re delivered detailing the new recycling program. He said the new bin will be delivered right to the doorstep of each residential customer. He estimates that it will take about 10 days to deliver the bins. The new bins will be larger than the yellow ones being used now. The new orange recycling container will be 18 gallons while the old ones are 15 gallons. Kim Conti, solid waste assistant, said customers shouldn’t expect delivery of their new bin on the same day as their garbage collection.

The new program is starting to increase the amount being recycled by BPU customers. Saar said the rate is about 35 percent now. There are several reasons why people should recycle. Along with improving the environment and because it is state law, if more people recycle then less would be taken to the landfill where the BPU pays $28 a ton in tipping fees. Also, the BPU receives payment for delivering recyclables to its vendor. BPU solid waste rates can remain stable if they pay less at the landfill and receive money for recyclables.

“The ultimate goal of the program is to increase recycling,” Saar said. “Your rate will decrease if you recycle. It is the right thing to do. It is our responsibility to do it.”

Jim Alexander, BPU solid waste/outside wastewater maintenance supervisor, said several programs were examined and analyzed to determine what might work the best for BPU customers. The program BPU officials went with involves radio-frequency identification technology – also known as RFID. A RFID tag will be attached to all the new orange recycling bins with each customer’s address and account information. The bin is similar to a water or gas meter that belongs to each customer. With technology on the trucks, each bin will be scanned to determined which customers recycled and which ones did not.

“This is the one that made the most sense,” Alexander said about the new program.

Each customer will be given one new orange recycling bin. All customers have to do is have the orange bin at the curbside ready for pickup with the scheduled recyclable the night their garbage is collected. If a new orange bin is broken, a customer can return it to BPU customer service, 92 Steele St., Jamestown, and receive a new bin. Saar said each container has a five-year warranty. If a customer has lost their bin or it was stolen, BPU officials will replace the orange bin once for free. Saar said customers can add their address to the bin to prevent confusion between neighbors who might place their recyclables in the same area.

For senior citizens or handicapped customers, arrangements can be made with BPU officials to have their recyclables collected if they cannot deliver them to the curb. Conti said the assistance program is not new and BPU officials already help 40 to 50 customers. The program is also a residential program. Commercial customers, which includes some apartment complexes in the BPU service area, will not be part of the new program. For residential customers who live in smaller apartment buildings and have their own electric bill, their bins will have their apartment numbers on them when they receive them.

Customers are asked to use the orange bins as soon as they receive them. Any overflow, customers can still use both the new orange bin and the yellow bin or any container for the excess recyclables. The new recycling program is a month-by-month program.

BPU officials will meet with community groups to get as much information out to the public as they can prior to the program starting in March. BPU officials attended a Jamestown City Council work session meeting Monday to discuss the program.

For more information on the program, contact the BPU’s garbage hotline at 661-1651 or visit www.jamestownbpu.com.