Brookhaven's new recycling rules cause homeowner confusion

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BROOKHAVEN -

Residents in Brookhaven are voicing frustration with the town's new set of recycling rules.

At the beginning of the year, the town switched from single-stream recycling to dual stream. The new rule means that homeowners now have to separate plastics and metals from paper and cardboard.

Items like glass, greasy pizza boxes and plastic bags are not being accepted at all.

Some say the new system is confusing and that crews don't always pick up their recyclables.

"The town wasn't clear about what should go into containers and what should not," said Don Drosselmeier, of Centereach. "But I went on the website and found out and this week, the truck came and didn't pick up the plastics."

Town Recycling Commissioner Christopher Andrade says that restrictions are being felt nationwide ever since China decided it would no longer import most American waste.

"It's frustrating, it's inconvenient right now, but I think after a while people get on board," Andrade says.

Items in the Centereach neighborhood may not have been taken because some of the plastic was of the wrong grade.

Guidelines also vary depending on the town, but garbage trucks in Brookhaven will only accept plastic that's labeled No. 1 or No. 2. Brookhaven says it has put out notices, including mailers, explaining to residents what should be recycled and what shouldn't.

Environmentalists like Adrienne Esposito says the town isn't doing enough.

"By leaving the recyclables there and not letting the person know what they did wrong, you're causing frustration, you're causing anger," Esposito says.

Residents in Huntington have made similar complaints to News 12.

Officials say they have also worked hard to get the word out about dual-stream recycling.

 

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