Recycling tonnage has increased by almost 50%

LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers told the City Council this week that the tonnage of recyclable materials collected at the curbside has risen 48-percent since the introduction of mandatory recycling on July 1.

During the last four collection cycles, which included Motorcycle Week and the Fourth of July, the total volume of solid waste — both trash and recyclables —  collected over two weeks has remained relatively constant between 209.52 tons and 211.21 tons. But, the tonnage of recyclables collected at the curbside has risen from 34.29 tons and 36.05 tons before July 1 to 43.18 tons and 50.68 tons since since July 1.

As a result of removing more recyclables from the waste stream, the cost of disposing of the remaining trash at $150 per ton has fallen from $26,466 and $26,020 in the two cycles before July 1 to $25,179 and $24,079 in the two cycles since July 1.

"Our residents have done a good job," Myers said. "I think people are getting it." Noting that "it's still early," he said that "these are good results, but we still need to get the numbers up." Myers said he had only "a couple of phone calls" from residents with complaints and, in making the rounds of the city, found few households and businesses out of compliance with the requirements to separate trash and recyclables, place trash in firm containers and limit the volume of trash.