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Officials look to improve recycling rate

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Albany/HV: Officials look to improve recycling rate
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Many know how important it is to recycle but officials in one County are making sure everyone knows that not only is it good for the environment but it could actually save you money. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Michael Howard has the story on how officials are spreading the message.

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- If you ask Lindsay Carille if recycling is important, she’ll give you plenty of reasons why.

As the deputy commissioner of Solid Waste Management in Dutchess County, it’s one of her top priorities. As well as on the minds of many Dutchess County Legislatures, as they launched a ten year plan called, “Rethinking Waste” a year ago.

“After holding a public hearing and letting the public comment on it, we sent that to New York state DEC for their approval and they approved it in June of 2013,” said Carille.

The more than 150 page plan aimed to increase the recycling rate within the county, which once stood at 23 percent.

“That’s been our major push this year,” said Carille, “to identify recycling going on in the county that we might not have known about before and also figure out how we can increase our recycling rate.”

According to Carille, Dutchess County’s recycling rate was 37 percent in 2012. Far exceeding their projections of 27 percent as she thanks that to single stream recycling. Or as everyone else knows it, throwing all your recyclables in one barrel.

“I think about every residential customer in Dutchess County that gets curbside pickup is now single stream recycling. Which has shown to increase recycling,” said Carille.

For ReCommunity Beacon Plant Manager Dave Kahn, he’s seen the recycling rate double. Since the plant opened in 2012.

“We started out doing about 40,000 tons per year here one shift, which has now grown to 115,000 tons that we just processed last year,” said Kahn.

Kahn says the plant processes 400 to 500 tons of recyclables a day, equaling 9,500 tons a month. Where most comes from Dutchess County.

“It all starts with the consumer, the education process knowing what’s recyclable, what’s not is where it all starts,” said Kahn.

As for the Waste Management plan, other plans are in the works that you could see later this year. Including the hiring of a recycling educator, to reach out to schools and larger commercial entities.

“Were really hoping with single stream recycling and promotion that we’ll see progressive increases in recycling to the point where we don’t have enough garbage to meet our minimum goals at the waste energy facility,” said Carille.

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