New recycling carts arrive next week

Beginning on Monday, Waste Management will begin delivering our new 96 gallon recycling carts to prepare for the January 1, 2014 commencement of single stream recycling in Lowell. Single stream means that all recyclable items will go into the same container. These include glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, jugs and containers, aluminum and scrap metal, newspaper including ads and inserts, cardboard, and all types of paper and junk mail. Unlike the regular trash which is picked up every week, recycling will be collected every other week. Your pickup week will be determined by the color of the lid of your container. As shown on this calendar, containers with green lids will be collected during the first week in January on your normal trash day; containers with blue lids will be collected during the second week on your normal trash day. That pattern will continue thereafter. More information about the new recycling program is available at

5 Responses to New recycling carts arrive next week

  1. Eleanor Rigby says:

    I received the notice regarding this change and I am not favorably impressed.

    While it allows us to stop ‘sorting’ our recyclables ( although calling the current system ‘sorting’ is a stretch) what it does is requires storage of these discarded items in or outside the home for two weeks although I wonder if every other week will turn into 1st and 3rd and 2nd and 4th which could lead to storing this trash for even longer periods.

    What I predict will happen is that people will tire of this system very quickly and just put the recycling in the regular trash rendering Lowell’s recycling useless.

    This is a short sighted attempt to save money and it will IMHO not work.

  2. john smith says:

    @ Eleanor Rigby, This new system of single stream will work out excellent because it gives you a really easy way to recycle because there is no more sorting! Having to store recycling in your cart is not a big deal because if you can think of it?, recycling does not really produce and odar unless people are friggan lazy and don’t rinse out containers like everyone should do! But as long as you rinse out your recycling then you don’t have to worry about it sitting there and creating a stench. Its not like regular household trash that stinks after a few days.This automated recycling is an awesome idea! plus the fact that it will cut down on trash and if you recycle? then you don’t have to worry about buying the city overflow bags as those cost $$. And the fact that down the road, pretty much every city and town are gonna start forcing people to recycle and if you don’t? then expect to start paying some hefty fines because they are not gonna tolerate it if you don’t have your recycling to the curb! some citys and town out in California already started doing it and eventually there gonna do that up here! Out in San Francisco if you dont have your recycle bin or cart out? then you get a $1000 fine! and after that if you keep violating it then the fine just goes up every time! There is no excuse for NOT recycling because its easy as pie.

  3. Eleanor Rigby says:

    I understand the concept and I already recycle. What I object to is storing my discarded recycled material for two weeks or longer. Trying to sell it as no sorting just is not credible. The current system requires virtually no sorting. Communities that require sorting generally require the separation of paper, cardboard, and sorting glass by color. That is not the current system in Lowell, all that is required is paper/cardboard be separated from glass/plastic. That is not ‘sorting’ to my way of thinking.
    Regardless of washing out items there will still be enough debris left to attract insects and potentially other pests.
    As I said I forsee people just throwing their recycling into the trash in the off weeks.

  4. DickH says:

    With just two people in the house, I’ve already fallen into the habit of only putting out the recycling every other week. While using two containers now, one for paper the other for bottles and cans, is no big deal, I like the idea of putting everything into one container that has a secure cover on it. I think that will make it easier for me to put more stuff in it. We won’t have long to wait to test this speculation.

  5. Jon Snow says:

    This was a great idea in theory, however it has lead to two unfortunate side effects. The first is the fact that I always have to put cardboard and non-returnable items back in bin once the can pickers are too lazy to put the stuff back in once they have rummaged through it for any returnables, which there isn’t becasue I return them myself. Two my bin so far has never been fully emptied because again of the can pickers who are even too lazy to shut the top of the bin in the rain which wets and freezes the card board to the bin on the bottom.