Raleigh to phase out old recycling trucks

RALEIGH Many Raleigh residents may soon find themselves yelling at the recycling guy to not throw bottles, cans and newspapers into the back of a big old truck with a trash compactor. But all that plastic, paper and glass isn't going to the dump.

"They think we're throwing it away," Solid Waste Services Employee Elton Andrews said. "A lot of them come to the window and say this is garbage, this is recycling. This is what's going on from now on."

Starting now and slowly moving forward over the next two years, all of Raleigh's recycling trucks will look like garbage trucks.

The city will slowly phase out the old trucks, in which the paper and plastic and glass are separated curbside.

"All the sorting goes from our men doing it to being sorted at a processing facility, at a recycling facility," Waste Reduction Specialist Linda Leighton said. "We're shaving some time off each stop, right now it takes a bit too long to stop at each household."

The city will get less money from its recycling contractor but says the change will save money in the long-term.

Each rear-loading truck is $60,000 less than the old ones.

"These trucks look like garbage trucks. People have that mental image --'oh my God, it's garbage it's going to the landfill'-- it's not happening," Leighton said. "Raleigh has never taken a load of recycling materials to the landfill."

And the city says it isn't about to start.

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