Single Stream or Dual Stream? (Part 2)

Single Stream or Dual Stream? (Part 2)

Today we continue our discussion on single stream vs. dual stream recycling.  Municipal Curbside recycling programs have changed over the years, with more and more recyclers going single stream in recent years.  Today we will discuss some issues between dual and single stream collection.

First the obvious main difference between single stream and dual stream is contamination of the materials.  Single stream has a much better chance of contamination by the other recyclables they are mixed with.  Since all of your recyclables go into one bin it is easier to have the contamination problem.  Dual stream with the different bins is easier to sort and get rid of the contamination.

Second is that dual stream is much more labor intensive at the collection point and it takes longer at each shop.  With the multiple bins, the collection workers are less productive as they need to sort the materials in the separate bins.  That hurts the bottom line of collecting the materials and increases the price of collection for the customer in the long run.

The last difference is the burden dual stream places on the residents.  Dual stream is not easy on space, with multiple bins it is much more space consuming than single stream.  It is also not user friendly, sorting out materials and putting in bins is time consuming, many people get frustrated and end up just throwing their recyclables into the waste basket, which than ends up normally in a landfill.

So in conclusion, you can see that the rise of single stream really is driven by the economics of collection and sorting.  The contamination of the recyclables doesn’t seem to outweigh the benefits of the ease at which single stream happens.

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Ely Enterprises, Inc.
3809 Broadway Avenue
Lorain, OH 44052