Ann Arbor City Council to consider single-stream recycling system
A proposal to convert Ann Arbor’s recycling facility so residents wouldn't have to sort their recycled papers from their plastics is being sent over to the City Council next week.
The specifics of the proposal won’t be available until council members get their first look at the Oct. 12 work session. The proposal could be considered at a council meeting as soon as Nov. 5.
Ann Arbor’s current two-sort system requires residents and businesses to sort all paper materials from plastic and glass into curbside containers.
Proposals for a single-stream system allow recycled materials to be mixed together, then sorted at a Materials Recovery Facility retrofitted with improved sorting technology.
Typically, retrofits also allow an increase in the number of materials that can be collected for recycling by municipalities.
“The proposal is being evaluated at this point because the technology has improved significantly in the last few years,” said Tom McMurtrie, recycling coordinator. “It is timely in terms of our move to expand commercial recycling and with the needs of the residential population. We have carts out there with multi-family population that are almost 20 years old.”
The city looked to other municipalities that have converted to single-stream recycling like Westland and Saline as models for the proposal.
In April, Saline announced new recycling guidelines after renegotiating its recycling contract with Waste Management, said Saline Public Works Director George Danneffel.
The move resulted in a 0.5-percent decrease in the residential service rate, less sorting for residents who are recycling and an increase in the kind of plastics - like salad dressing and laundry detergent bottles — that residents can recycle,Â DanneffelÂ said.
Tina Reed covers health and the environment for AnnArbor.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 734-623-2535.