The city of Greenville is making a few changes to its recycling operations with an eye for improving safety, increasing recycling and, over the long haul, saving money.

The cost to operate the old manual collection system was increasing every year, and our recycling participation rates weren’t as high as we had hoped,” said City Council member Gaye Sprague. “Switching to the new automated collection system will save money over the long term, and will help us make recycling simpler and more convenient for our residents.”

The first change will be new recycling roll carts, which will be distributed to all single-family homes in the city in May. Council member Jil Littlejohn said the new roll carts are much easier to maneuver than the old tubs and hold a lot more as well – 95 gallons instead of just 18. A lid protects the contents during rainy weather.

“It’s a blue rolling bin just like the green trash cart, and a sticker on the outside of the lid shows all of the recyclables that we can accept,” Littlejohn said.

According to Council member Amy Ryberg Doyle, although the city can no longer accept glass, residents will be able to recycle more plastics at the curb. “We’re now accepting types 1 through 7 instead of just 1 and 2, and everything can go in the new cart – newspaper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum,” said Doyle. “Everyone’s pickup day will remain the same, so the only change is that the new trucks will have an automated arm that empties the cart.”

National nonprofit The Recycling Partnership and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control awarded the city grants to help fund the new roll carts as well as efforts to educate the community about the new system.

While some areas of the city already recycle extensively, Littlejohn wants to make sure the process is all-inclusive. “We want to encourage those areas with lower recycling levels,” she said. “The city is increasing education, going out to schools and churches to get the word out. I’m excited about getting more people engaged.”

Increasing recycling, thereby reducing the amount of trash going to the landfill, has been a priority for City Council for several years. They wanted to find a solution that worked for Greenville and would be a financially stable model – goals they say they have achieved with the new system.


City of Greenville Recycling, Recycle.greenvillesc.gov

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