Say sayonara to your green and blue recycling bins: North Kingstown is switching its curbside recycling services. The new service will convert from a weekly pickup to biweekly and will also eliminate the separate blue and green bins. Instead, North Kingstowners will have one, 96-gallon bin to throw in all their recycling needs.
The North Kingstown Town Council awarded the services bid to Waste Haulers over current providers, Coastal Recycling, opting for an automated service over Coastal’s manual service.
North Kingstown pays about $400,000 annually for its current curbside service from Coastal. In the town’s request for bids, Coastal’s bid for its current services jumped to $499,000 – just $3,000 less than Waste Haulers bid which offered an automated service.
The five-year contract will see the rates climb each year to offset the contractor’s purchase of roughly 10,000 new recycling bins, then dropping down to $431,000 in the sixth year. Similar services from Coastal started at $748,000 in the first year.
The move to a new recycling system was due in part to Rhode Island Resource Recovery’s push toward a one-bin, automated system, according to Department of Public Works Director Phil Bergeron. He also adds that the new system will save the town money “in the long run.”
Another factor in the service switch is the performance of Coastal Recycling, which Town Manager Michael Embury described as “terrible.”
“I’ve seen people in my own neighborhood sweeping up glass [after recycling pickup],” said Council President Elizabeth Dolan, who noted she’s received complaints regarding the service from third graders to parents. “My own bins are broken.”
Coastal Recycling President Anthony Davidson spoke before the council, saying he was unaware of the complaints and that he “never received any calls.” According to Embury, his statement was “absolutely incorrect.”
“People in this town have stopped recycling because they’re sick of the service,” Embury said.
According to Bergeron, residents’ usage of recycling has been in decline the past few years and the town hopes the new setup may curtail the trend.
“There is probably a number of people frustrated by the late pickups and missed pickups and have stopped recycling,” said Bergeron.
The contract with Waste Haulers will begin July 1, but the new system won’t be implemented until at least September as the town transitions to the biweekly pickups.