AUBURN — Public Works officials are hoping that getting residents to opt-in to the city's curbside recycling program will help end confusion.
"We haven't heard any complaints here, but we know that people are putting out their recycling on weeks when it's not scheduled to be collected," said Denis D'Auteuil, deputy director of Public Works. "We don't want people to have to drag their recycling out only to have to drag it back in at the end of the day."
The city reduced curbside recycling collections this month, moving from a weekly schedule to twice-monthly collections. According to the new schedule, only the frequency of collections will change. The city will continue taking the same recyclables — clear glass, No. 2 plastic, cans, cardboard and paper.
In June, the city delivered a memo detailing the new changes to residents in their empty recycling bins. That memo also urged residents to contact the city and register for collections, calling 333-6670 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
D'Auteuil said 170 of the city's estimated 2,500 recycling customers have registered so far.
"The first reason we want people to register is that it gives us a good idea of how many people are interested in getting recycling," he said. "But it also gives us a way to communicate if there are any other changes. If there's a problem in a neighborhood or on a street, we can send people an e-mail and let them know."
Residents will continue to have their recycling collected on the same day their trash is collected. Residents who put out trash on Mondays will have their recycling collected on Mondays — and so on. It's the same weekly schedule the city has had for years.
But recycling collections are less frequent. Half of a normal day's trash route is having their recycling collected on the first and third weeks of the month. The other half will have their recycling collected on the second and fourth weeks of the month.
"We know that's caused confusion on some longer streets, because we have so many address on those streets we've had to divide the collections up," D'Auteuil said. For example, the city collects recycling for Center Street residents between Dartmouth and Oak Hill Road on the first and third Mondays of the month. Residents living on Center Street between Oak Hill Road and Turner Street have their recycling collected on the second and fourth Mondays.
"We had to do that because of the length of the street, but it has confused some people," D'Auteuil said.