WHAT TO EXPECT: Single-Stream Informational Meeting hosted by UCRRA

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm, the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency will host an informational meeting on Single-Stream recycling at the Ulster County Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, NY.  The meeting will be filmed thanks to The Kingston News (DONATE)

There will be no decisions made tomorrow evening. We encourage the public to take advantage of this opportunity and ask all of the questions that they might have. We’ll be creating a post for the upcoming public hearing on this matter in June with clear recommendations.

VIEW UCRRA’s event page.

According to Executive Director Timothy Rose, the meeting tomorrow will be “an informal, two-way discussion.  A brief PowerPoint will be presented.”

There is no information on who will sit on the panel, or what the overall agenda will be to share here.

KingstonCitizens.org requested that the Mayor of Kingston be included on the panel and we appreciate the public making that request. According to Rose, he says that ” I haven’t heard from Mayor Noble so I don’t know if he wants to be part of the discussion or if he will attend.”

The Mayor of Kingston plans to be in attendance.

In this week’s City of Kingston newsletter, Mayor Noble says, “As many of you are aware, the Ulster County Resource and Recovery Agency (UCRRA) has made reference to proposals that, if approved, will significantly impact our community. In addition to the Agency’s proposal to double recycling fees mid-year, the Agency is considering discontinuing its acceptance of Single Stream Recycling…I will be attending both of these meetings and strongly encourage all of you to consider attending as well.

As part of this process, I recently attended a meeting of the Ulster County Legislature’s Energy and Environment Committee to voice my concerns about these proposals. You can listen to the entire meeting…


…and can listen specifically to my comments at approximately the 1 hour and 22 minute mark. As you will hear, the issue is much larger than whether we have single stream or dual stream recycling- we are on the brink of an international environmental crisis. While Single Stream Recycling may be the focus today, the fact is that no matter how recycling is collected, there are fewer places for the recycled materials to go at the moment. Whereas recycled materials used to be a valuable commodity, the market has shifted, at least temporarily. Two years ago when UCRRA was collecting increased revenue from recycled materials, discontinuing Single Stream Recycling was not up for discussion.  I firmly believe that recycling policy should not be dictated solely by market conditions. It is time for  the Ulster County Legislature to institute flow control for recyclables, call for the review, update and approval of the long-awaited Solid Waste Management Plan for Ulster County, and reestablish the Recycling Oversight Committee of the Legislature.

With all that said, we have work to do locally. Our recycling compliance over the past few months has declined, leading to more recyclables ending up in the trash stream (with taxpayers ultimately paying a higher rate because of it!) and warnings and fines being issued to property owners. This needs to change. Over the next few weeks, my staff will be working to ensure that every person in the City of Kingston knows how to effectively recycle. We will do this through education and, as necessary, enforcement. Prior to any property owner being issued a fine, staff issue a written warning with a list of items that are allowed and not allowed in the blue totes. We will also be mailing a bilingual flyer to every property in Kingston to remind us all what can and cannot go into the blue totes. I need your help. Have no doubt, I will continue to fight to maintain our Single Stream Recycling service. However, I need residents to use our recycling system appropriately, review the information we provide, and ask questions if anything is unclear.”

READ: “Request that UCRRA Postpone Their Decision to Discontinue Single Stream Recycling”

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