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Nov 27, 2018 9:33 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

What Happens To Our Recycling, Part One: The Recycling Myth

Material solid waste (MSW) and construction debris are processed on two separate belts at Paumanok Environmental in Yaphank. Much of the East End's garbage ends up in this facility. JOSEPH P. LOUCHHEIM
Nov 27, 2018 10:08 AM

In a three-part series, the Press News Group will explore the state of recycling for residents in the towns of East Hampton and Southampton. It will explore why recyclables go where they go, the factors affecting what does and does not get recycled, and the various options available to South Fork residents. Finally, the series will examine the future of recycling, and how environmentally minded residents can get the most out of existing recycling programs today.

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What Happens To Our Recycling

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A great article and photos in the Adobe document.

Well done, Ms. Brophy, and the Press for the outstanding presentation.

By PBR (4883), Southampton on Nov 28, 18 8:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Correction -- "Ms. Riley" !
By PBR (4883), Southampton on Nov 28, 18 9:24 AM
Excellent story and we need more in depth articles like this one.
Thank you
By pcheng (1), Brdigehampton on Nov 28, 18 8:50 AM
Kudos. Fabulous article. I've been wondering about this subject for the longest time. Glad the local newspaper finally dug into it. I imagine this was a difficult story to report. Great work.
By GlassHouses (61), anywhere on Nov 28, 18 10:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
True investigative reporting, something rarely seen these days. Nice job, thank you!
By Taz (510), East Quogue on Nov 28, 18 11:56 AM
Excellent reporting, looking forward to Part II.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4791), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 28, 18 12:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
So sorry to hear that our Town programs are such a small part of total disposal. But I do hope that the author will tell us more about what happens to the material that we take to our recycling centers. If our centers are indeed working to achieve recycling, then this article would inspire more residents to make the effort, and perhaps more carting businesses to offer a real recycling option.
By clapping clam (1), East Hampton on Nov 28, 18 12:32 PM
Great article and an incredible amount of work and research went into writing it. Great job Cailin
By pbsagharbor (8), Sag Harbor on Nov 28, 18 3:43 PM
Excellent reporting! I'm super curious as to where the .05 cents per bag ends up in this recycling process as well?
By Anastasia (1), Bridgehampton on Nov 28, 18 6:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
I echo the enthusiasm for the excellent reporting!

One question that I have is what happens to the Southampton mixed paper now that thin film is also added to that collection bin? Is the thin film separated out or is the mixed material incinerated??
By Just My Opinion (2), Southampton on Nov 29, 18 10:09 AM
Excellent article. I take it the bins we put recyclables into at SH transfer stations are then just added to mixed stream?
By milo_sag (2), New York on Nov 29, 18 11:41 AM
I think not. It's the garbage that is not pre-sorted by self haulers that ends up in the mixed stream. The stuff we dump into the waste station bins is largely uncontaminated and can be sold to recyclers. It's unclear (at least to me) from this article what percentage of the presorted refuse is actually purchased for recylcing.
By Arnold Timer (308), Sag Harbor on Dec 3, 18 9:20 PM
Great, informative article...promotes awareness and education, thank you. I'm looking forward to the next segments and I echo the question about thin film.
By pvalk6 (28), Southampton on Nov 29, 18 11:48 AM
Thank you so much for doing the research and publishing this article. I have been trying to learn more about what really goes on with recycling in our area for several years now, but I could never really find answers. This article goes above and beyond, and I’m looking forward to reading the next two installments. Great job!
By Nicolejoan (1), Remsenburg on Nov 29, 18 7:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
Informative article.....so basically, diligent recycling is a waste of time.
By mtkfishman (55), montauk on Nov 30, 18 3:20 AM
Not if you bring your properly sorted garbage to the transfer station...
By Arnold Timer (308), Sag Harbor on Dec 3, 18 9:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Decrease expenses and increase recycling by self hauling! Lots of good information and cool graphic in the article including the following about self-haul -vs- private carting "Which option they choose has a great impact on the efficacy of their recycling efforts"
By Aeshtron (222), Southampton on Nov 30, 18 5:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Excellent reporting. I too have always wondered about this system and suspected things may not have been what we thought. I look forward to next article and thank you all for the time and energy to enlighten us. Kudos. Let's see more.
By Cairnterriot (8), southampton on Dec 1, 18 3:15 AM
Fabulous reporting. If this information were widely known, many of us would commit to doing better. Thanks.
By Stillwaters (1), New York on Dec 2, 18 10:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
People get paid to pick up our trash.
People get paid to go through our trash.
People get paid to sell our valuable trash.
All we have to do is not litter or dump.
Very, Very Simple !!!!!!
By themarlinspike (77), southampton on Dec 2, 18 10:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Since no one else wants to report on this I will... Work started on the CPI today .
By joe hampton (3230), The Hamptons on Dec 3, 18 8:27 PM
Where did all the beach glass go?
By even flow (804), East Hampton on Dec 4, 18 1:39 PM
As reported if only 15% of town residents use the 4 transfer stations what is the cost of operation and would it be better to go to a town operated waste pick up and include it in our taxes
By harbor man (40), sag harbor on Dec 7, 18 10:01 PM
gurney's, new year's eve, celebration, montauk