Recycling program set to begin

Published 5:14 pm Friday, January 1, 2010

Suffolk residents who have been clamoring curbside recycling could get it.

The city has signed a contract for TFC Recycling to provide curbside recycling for residents who sign up and pay a $12 monthly fee. The program will not start, however, until there are commitments from 3,000 households, so the city is looking for its first 3,000 names to add to the list.

“We’ve found that people all over the region love to recycle,” said Joel Rubin of Rubin Communications, which is spearheading the publicity campaign for TFC Recycling. “They just want it to be convenient.”

Suffolk residents who sign up and pay the fee will be issued a 95-gallon bin, similar to the containers currently used in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. The bin can accommodate mixed paper such as newspapers, magazines, mail and inserts, cardboard, paperboard, aluminum, steel and tin cans, plastic bottles and glass containers. The recycling will be picked up every other week on the same day as the resident’s normal trash pickup.

“TFC has found in the cities they put big bins in, participation goes up dramatically,” Rubin said. “We expect the same thing will happen in Suffolk.”

The city will kick off a three-month campaign to sign people up at 2 p.m. Wednesday on the lawn in front of City Hall, 441 Market St. Suffolk City Council members will be among the first to sign up for the recycling program.

“We’re hoping that 3,000 residents will sign up on the Web site so we can get the names and get it going,” Rubin said. “We’re hoping to do it by Earth Day in April [April 22].”

Rubin said about 200 people have signed up so far.

“We have a nice start, but we have a long ways to go,” Rubin said.

Residents can visit www.tfcrecycling.com/suffolk or click the link on the city’s Web site, www.suffolk.va.us, to sign up. They will not be asked for payment information right away, but will be contacted for their information once 3,000 people have signed up.

Those without Internet access can call 543-5766 to register.