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Sparks mulling a move to single-stream recycling
by Tribune Staff
Jan 09, 2014 | 1613 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Knowing what goes in a curbside bin is vital to a successful recycling program in Sparks, and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful used American Recycles Day to remind residents how to recycle properly.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Knowing what goes in a curbside bin is vital to a successful recycling program in Sparks, and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful used American Recycles Day to remind residents how to recycle properly.
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Residents of the City of Reno are beginning to see blue recycling bins delivered to their home as the city and Waste Management roll out the single-stream recycling program allowing residents to put all their recyclables in one bin rather than separate them.

The City of Sparks released a statement Wednesday saying the city has a separate and unique franchise agreement with Waste Management and that for the time being Sparks residents will continue to separate their recyclables into two bins. City of Sparks Community Relations Manager Adam Mayberry said Wednesday the statement was a simple response to a few "general inquiries" to the single-stream recycling program.

"We have gotten a handful of calls from residents wondering if we will follow Reno in this program," Mayberry said. "Some people don't realize exactly where they lie on the Reno, Sparks or Washoe County residential lines so some of the calls cleared up a little confusion."

Mayberry said City of Sparks staff and the Sparks City Council discussed a move to single-stream recycling late last year and the city has submitted a proposal to Waste Management to begin discussing the details of an agreement. The timeline is still unclear given that the City of Reno approved the single-stream recycling program in November of 2012 and is only now delivering the bins to residents.

Mayberry said the city will likely be sitting down with Waste Management in the coming months.

"It is important for citizens to know that this will come at a cost," Mayberry said. "Moving to single-stream recycling will bring additional charges to quarterly billing. It may be a couple of dollars a month more, which is something that has to be determined in our meetings with Waste Management, but it will be an increase."

Mayberry said the proposal, fee increases and logistics will be discussed and finalized by city staff before being brought to the Sparks City Council before being implemented. If passed, it would take "several months" to become fully functioning.

"The City of Sparks remains committed to containing costs and minimizing any negative impacts associated with changes to the solid waste franchise once a proposal is made to the City of Sparks," the media release stated.

J Merriman, communications manager for Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, said in an interview with the Sparks Tribune in 2013 that single-stream recycling is an attempt to make it easier and more convenient for residents to recycle. She said separating recyclables into multiple bins must be done carefully to ensure proper recycling.

“There are mornings where I will go to do my recycling and I can tell people do not know what belongs in each of the bins,” Merriman said. “If you don’t put the right stuff in your bins or you don’t do it correctly, Waste Management cannot take it in their recycling trucks and it does not get done. They do not have the staff time to go through it and separate the materials that do belong in each bin.”
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