Mashpee to End Single Stream Recycling in July Amid Changes in Global Recycling Market

MASHPEE – Single-stream recycling of plastics is coming to an end at the Mashpee Transfer Station this summer.

In July, the transfer station will begin dumping recyclables into separate containers rather than the traditional practice of dumping all recycling into one bin.

The Mashpee Board of Selectmen opted to move away from single-stream recycling on December 3 after it was found that the switch could save the town an estimated $50,000.

“The main factors really have to do with costs as well as what the impact on participation would be. There is almost a $50,000 difference in cost between single-stream versus source separation based on projections,” said DPW Director Catherine Laurent.

Laurent says that additional purchases would need to be made by the Transfer Station, as well as a public information campaign on the new recycling protocol, before the switch is made.

“There would be obviously some education we’d have to do, some changes in the signage. Right now we are using compactors. We would have to buy one additional container, but we did apply for and receive a grant from DEP for another container,” Laurent said.

The costs for the single-stream method are projected to double for the 2019 fiscal year, due to significant changes to the global recycling market.

These changes have had major effects on recycling and waste collectors across the United States. The changes came about when China drastically began limiting what it was accepting.

The outlets for U.S. recyclables have overhauled their regulations and increased their enforcement, with some outlets shutting down. This has created stricter standards in the acceptance of recyclables.

The Town of Mashpee is currently paying a rate of $50 per ton for processing recyclables.

By TIM DUNN, News center 

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