New recycling program to be rolled out next week
Indian River County’s single-stream recycling program and new once-a-week trash pick-up schedule for unincorporated County residents starts on Oct. 1, and in case learning the details has not been a top priority, the county has videotaped a town hall meeting and provided answers to the many questions about the program online.
All the information about the changes, and the Sept. 16 town hall video, can be found at www.ircrecycles.com. The video link is listed in the “more information” section.
The first change that residents will see is the blue, rolling recycling cart that either has popped up or will soon arrive at the end of their driveways. This cart (except for Indian River Shores residents) replaces the two blue-bin system.
Shores residents for now will keep using their two blue bins, but they no longer have to sort the recyclables. The new system is “single stream,” meaning that plastics, paper, glass, aluminum, newspapers and all other recyclables can be mixed together.
Stephanie Vos, the county’s recycling education and marketing coordinator, said Waste Management has been delivering 2,000 of the 64-gallon recycling carts each day.
“Their team is working very hard and I have been delighted to see those carts in my neighborhood,” Vos said.
Vos has been out in the community explaining and promoting the new recycling program, which county officials hope will help them achieve the state’s goal of each county recycling 75 percent of the solid waste stream in five years, by 2020.
That’s what the slogan “75 in 5” means, as residents might see or hear that slogan in promotional ads or radio spots.
“Many people are excited about the new recycling cart and they are relieved that they no longer have to sort everything out,” Vos said.
Residents in the unincorporated county such as South Beach and North Beach/Ambersand Beach and the Summerplace area, as well as Fellsmere, will also be receiving a gray, rolling cart for their trash.
The new carted system uses different trucks that will pick up the carts with an automated arm, reducing the time and manpower needed to collect trash and recycling.
In the City of Vero Beach and the Town of Indian River Shores, haulers will still be picking up trash manually. Shores residents also will continue to see their 18-gallon blue recycling bins picked up manually.
The current trash system in the City of Sebastian will also remain the same for now.
“One concern that we hear a lot has to do with the large size of the 64-gallon cart.
“After Jan. 1, there is an opportunity to swap out the standard 64-gallon cart for a larger 96-gallon cart or a smaller 35-gallon cart.
“The first exchange is free, but any future exchanges will cost $30 per cart per exchange,” Vos said.
““Something to keep in mind is that the capacity of the smallest sized cart is LESS than the two 18-gallon recycling bins that residents have previously been using. I’ve seen a lot of overflowing recycling bins in my neighborhood so you may be surprised how quickly that 64 gallon cart fills up!”
While full-time residents will begin using the new system on Oct. 1, the area’s seasonal residents will be a second wave of people to acclimate to the changes later this fall or early in winter when they arrive.
“I am very excited to continue educating the public about recycling and I am looking forward to bringing some recycling programs into our schools. We are certainly planning another educational campaign in November and December to keep our seasonal residents informed about the new program,” Vos said.