Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kalamazoo Residents Won't Sort Recycling Starting This Fall

An Elkhart, Indiana Material Recovery Facility
Recycle Works

The city is moving to single-stream recycling starting October 1st. Residents will now throw all of their recycling into one large cart that will be picked up every other week. The City of Kalamazoo will host an open house at the Community Room in City Hall to discuss the new program on Wednesday, August 23 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The switch - which involved a 10-year, $4.59 million contract with Republic Services - is expected to save the city $300,000 dollars. 

“I think it’s going to make things a lot easier for the homeowners and we feel strongly that should increase the amount of recycling,” says Kalamazoo Public Services Director James Baker.

Though single-stream gets more people to recycle, it also sends more recyclables to the landfill then dual-stream recycling. That’s according to theContainer Recycling Institute, which studies recycling programs.

The nonprofit group says as things like paper and cardboard mix with food containers and other materials, they become too dirty to use. You can learn more about single stream recycling in our story here

For some Kalamazoo residents these materials were already coming in contact with each other in the same truck. Baker says Republic Services does not have enough trucks with dual compartments for the two streams. 

Baker says the city hopes to offset single-stream contamination by removing paper from recycling trucks before they enter the system.

Residents who want to recycle will have to request a new single-stream cart to replace their bin from the City of Kalamazoo.

Related Content