Citizens who recycle in the city will see a change in service Monday, Aug. 5, when the single-stream recycling program starts.
Those who live west of U.S. 31 will have recycling picked up starting that Monday and thereafter on the first and third Mondays of each month.
Those living east of U.S. 31 will receive recycling pickup on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The schedule is subject to change should the city see a need to enhance the routes.
Residents should have their blue containers on the curb by 6 a.m. on their collection days.
Single stream recycling allows the city to collect recyclable materials without having to sort them. The city is contracting with Decatur for the service.
If you have not received a 96-gallon blue recycling container, call the Sanitation Department at 256-233-8747.
The Athens-Limestone Recycling Center will accept the 18-gallon green containers that residents had been using, or citizens can keep the green containers and use them to collect glass and certain plastics to take to the center.
Sanitation Director Earl Glaze said the city is making the change because its recycling trucks are beyond repair and costly to replace. With single stream recycling offered by Decatur, the city can use its automated garbage trucks to run the recycling routes on Mondays. If the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center goes to single stream recycling, the city can begin taking its recycling to the Athens center.
In addition to the cost of buying new recycling trucks, not having single stream recycling is dangerous for sanitation workers. Workers previously stood on the roadside to sort through recycling materials and place the sorted material in the recycling truck, subjecting them to oncoming traffic.
List of permitted items in the new blue carts:
• No. 1 and No. 2 narrow neck plastic bottles
• Cans, including aluminum, steel and tin
• Empty aerosol cans
• Flattened corrugated cardboard cut to fit inside the container
• Boxes for items such as cereal, shoes, cake mix, crackers, soft drinks, etc.
• Paper including newspapers, notebook paper and office paper
• Junk mail
• Magazines, catalogs and phone books
• Food and any organic waste
• Garbage and yard waste
• Plastic bags
• Pizza boxes
• Aluminum foil or pie plates
• Hazardous chemicals
• Packing peanuts
• Plastics No. 3-7
Residents can still take oil, batteries and plastics Nos. 3-7 to the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center at 15896 Lucas Ferry Road, which is south of U.S. 72.