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Fewer collections leave some Durham recycling bins overflowing

Posted December 2, 2009
Updated December 3, 2009

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— Some Durham residents complain that their recycling bins cannot handle the load since the city shifted to collecting the materials every two weeks instead of weekly.

"We've got to pile it up on top of everything just to make it fit," said Dominique Liles, who said his family hosted about a dozen people for Thanksgiving, leading to plenty of empty cans.

"The recycling bin was very full. It was close to the top," Liles said.

Relooking at recycling schedule Relooking at recycling schedule

Durham stopped picking up recyclables every week over the summer, saying the city could save money by cutting its collections in half.

Crews handed out 95-gallon bins to handle the extra materials, and Donald Long, the director of the city's Solid Waste Management Department, said most families still don't fill them up. The old bins could handle only 18 gallons of materials.

"There have been some trends that show that people recycle more with the larger carts," Long said.

Durham is collecting about 14 percent more recyclable material since it rolled out the larger bins, he said.

To accommodate people who find that their bins are overflowing with materials by the end of two weeks, the city has started renting out extra containers for $18 a year. A 65-gallon bin is available to those who don't want the big container.

"We encourage those folks to call us to get that extra cart because we want our tonnage to go up as high as it can go," Long said.

Residents can call 919-560-1200 to request the extra bins.

The city didn't offer extra carts when it first started the program because it was having problems delivering the more than 67,000 carts to area residents to get the program going.

"When we were sure that everybody had one cart, then we started delivering extra carts to people who needed them," Long said.

Liles said his family might consider paying extra to get a second recycling bin.

"It would be worth it," he said.

13 Comments

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  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Dec 3, 2009

    it's laughable that people think recycling saves energy, exactly what do those machines that 'recycle' plastic run off of?

    Recycling is just a way to re-use resources, but you still have to USE energy to do so. So all those silly bags with "go green" on it is funny, recycling isn't green, it just helps with the extra waste.

  • oldschooltarheel Dec 3, 2009

    rinsing is an incredibly silly waste of water - especially since the "recyclables" are all going to the same DUMP as the garbage. What a stupid costly system - oh wait, there's my tax dollars at work doing what big govt does best - waste, redundancy and feeding its friends. Durham loves its big blue govt, that's for sure.

  • DowntownGirl Dec 3, 2009

    There are different trucks for garbage (green containers), recyclables (blue containers) and yard waste (brown containers). The new blue containers are huge and hold way more than twice as much as the old ones. Stop whining. There are way more serious issues to be concerned about than this.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 3, 2009

    Geez, people. We have the same container and schedule in Cary. Works great. Its not a Government problem. Its an "end-user" problem.

    Two tips.... #1) Recyclables need to be broken apart or crushed. They will fit fine in the container. #2) If Tip #1 fails, the town will GLADLY sell you another container. Problem solved. That's how it works in Cary. Its not a Government problem, its an "end-user" problem.

  • HappyGirl08 Dec 3, 2009

    I have seen those large containers. I dont' see how they are being filled to overflowing on a regular basis. They are huge! Someone needs to start crushing their bottles and breaking down boxes better.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Dec 3, 2009

    I don't live in Durham, but my rollout bin fills up each and every week, can't imagine going with an every other week schedule. And, yes, I do flatten, crush, etc.

  • TheBullCity Dec 3, 2009

    The new bins are more than twice as big as the old ones, so I guess these were people who had a problem before. Buy a second bin if you need it. I'm not sure what the big deal is.

  • scientistjo Dec 3, 2009

    I second the belief that Durham is tossing the recycling in the landfill. In fact, I know this to be true at several elementary schools. Durham should be fined because this is illegal!

  • ccsloop Dec 3, 2009

    My guess is that with this large rollout container that peole are just throwing everything in without flattening cardboard, can, plastic bottles. The result is that the large container is about 50 % air and appears to overflow within 2 weeks. I personally like the large containers and if you rinse out cans, bottles and flatten items then the two week cycle is not really a problem.

  • disco2drivin Dec 3, 2009

    meh2, you ever heard of single stream recycling?

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