Charleston City Council passes Recycling Bill

During tonight’s Charleston City Council meeting, a bill was passed regarding the separation of recyclables from municipal solid waste. The ordinance allows for recyclables to be placed into either a clear plastic bag or a container that is no larger than 48 gallons in volume, no heavier than 40 pounds when full and clearly marked as containing recyclables. Paper and cardboard must be placed in either a clear bag or water-proof container. Recycling will continue curbside as part of citizens’ normal trash pickup.

“This bill will provide folks more options on how to recycle and make the guidelines for recycling more clear,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “A 2015 study showed that just 19.5 percent of residents in the City of Charleston recycle and we want to increase that percentage by making recycling easier. This is a first step toward that goal.”

Items that are recycled curbside in the City of Charleston include: aluminum bi-metal, steel cans, newspaper, plastics 1 and 2 (examples include: water bottles, soft drink bottles, milk jugs and laundry detergent containers), boxboard, corrugated cardboard, office mix paper, magazines and junk mail. The City can reject wet paper or recyclable materials that are commingled with food or are not on the list of acceptable materials.

“The policy change gives residents options for placing recyclables at the curb for pickup without requiring the use of a clear plastic bag,” said Director of Public Works, Brent Webster. “Of course, folks are still permitted to use clear bags, which are available at many local retailers, but as long as a container is clearly marked as containing recyclables, our crews will be ready to pick it up.”

For those that live in multi-family dwellings with four or more units, an owner, landlord or agent may establish a collection system at each of their properties. They may create clearly-marked receptacles and give written instructions to occupants concerning the use and availability of the collection system.