Recycling Changes on Mobile City Council Agenda

Bins to sort your materials are gone. Now it's all dumped into one big compactor.

Mobile, AL (WKRG)

Recycling in Mobile is changing. Tomorrow, the Mobile City Council is poised to vote on two contracts that make recycling easier in Mobile, but will it save money? City officials are optimistic.

Meanwhile, things are a bit somber at the Mobile Recycling Center.

“Helps the environment we’re saving on plastic, were saving on paper we’re finding another use for products we use every day,” said longtime recycler Dan Lavin.

The facility that’s been around for decades as the port city’s one stop recycling shop will close up by the end of the month. Gone are the gigantic sorting bins.

Instead, everything that can be recycled is dumped into what looks like a giant dumpster.  It’s called single stream recycling.  It takes the place of pre-sorting your trash.  Recyclers say they’re glad recycling’s getting easier but many will miss this convenient midtown location.

“Part of the green movement here and all the gardens we have in the area, it all started with this recycling center and having green consciousness, recycling is so very very important, I’m glad we’re continuing it at other locations but it was a big part of our story and really important,” said Midtown recycler Leroy Cassidy.

After this place closes they’ll be two single stream drop-off spots in Mobile instead of just one, but it’s not clear if these changes will save money.

“We believe so, we’re still in the test period, we’re still tabulating up the costs but the easier we make it the more the recycling will come in and the more recycling the more we reduce our landfill costs,” said Public Works Executive Director Bill Harkins.

He hopes it saves money in the long run.

Harkins says only six percent of mobile’s trash is diverted away from the landfill into recycling, a number he says is well below state and national averages.

City officials say they explored the idea of curbside recycling but decided against adding that service for the time being. The city council may vote on new contracts related to the new recycling process tomorrow morning.

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