Lexington County wants to encourage recycling in neighborhoods where it provides curbside trash collection.
Homeowners in those unincorporated areas who receive the service will be given 95-gallon roll carts for recyclable items such as glass jars, plastic bottles, metal cans and newspapers.
The carts are coming as soon as next spring, replacing 18-gallon bins.
“When things get to the top of bins, that’s when recycling stops,” county solid waste director Dave Eger said.
Each ton of materials recycled saves the county nearly $37.50 since it doesn’t go to the landfill in the Edmund area.
Just over 3,900 tons of recycled items were collected through curbside pickup in the year that ended June 30 compared to slightly more than 3,300 tons a year earlier.
About 101,000 tons of trash from these areas went to the landfill for burial.
The change brings with it a reduction in the frequency of curbside collection of recycled items.
Those materials will be taken every two weeks instead of weekly.
Fees for curbside trash pickup – ranging from nearly $16 to $47 monthly – will stay the same.
County Council has given initial approval to the plan.
Curbside collection is optional for residents of unincorporated areas as well as those in Gilbert, Summit and Pelion.
Nearly 23 000 of 86,500 homeowners – just over 1 in 4 – have the service since it began nearly a decade ago, records show
For those without waste pickup, trash and recycling can be taken to 11 disposal stations scattered across the 720-square-mile county.
The effort to improve recycling is similar to what began in Irmo in mid-summer.
It’s off to a smooth start there, town leaders say.
Remembering which weeks include pickup of recycled items is “the only drawback,” Mayor Hardy King said.
The new plan may go countywide eventually.
Waste disposal firms are interested in offering similar arrangements in stages to the 11 other municipalities, Eger said.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.