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Some in Suffolk prepare to recycle

After a six-month sign-up effort that still is ongoing, TFC Recycling finally is delivering 95-gallon bins to its paid subscribers.

The Chesapeake-based company began dropping off bins Tuesday in downtown neighborhoods. A TFC truck filled with 80 bins wound up and down streets, with workers leaving bins for residents who have paid for their first three months of service.

“It’s good to see the commitment,” said Michael Benedetto, vice president and owner of TFC Recycling. “This is a good solution and great value.”

Residents in Suffolk have been without curbside recycling since the Southeastern Public Service Authority canceled the program in 2003. Those who wanted to recycle were forced to collect their recyclables and drive them to one of several recycling drop-off centers located throughout the city. Many residents simply threw recyclable materials into the trash.

Last year, the city contracted with TFC Recycling to provide curbside service and bins for a $12 monthly fee. About 2,500 people signed up and said they were interested in the service. About 1,300 people have committed to the service by signing an online agreement, and about 1,000 have paid for their first three months of service, TFC vice president for business development Ed Farmer said Tuesday.

Residents will be able to put a wide variety of materials in the cans without having to separate them, and then roll them to the curb every other week on the same day as their regular trash collection. Items that can be recycled in the bins include aluminum cans and foil, Nos. 1 and 2 plastic bottles and containers, glass jars and bottles, tin or steel cans, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, cardboard, paper bags, cereal boxes and paper towel rolls, telephone books, magazines and catalogs.

Councilman Charles Parr, who received one of the bins delivered Tuesday, said he is excited about the new program.

“This actual can is so much more efficient than the little curbside baskets,” he said. “They’re easy to maneuver, sturdy and easy for the elderly.”

Parr noted that although Suffolk currently does not pay tipping fees to dump trash at the landfill, it eventually will have to pay for its trash disposal.

“Every ton that doesn’t go to the landfill is a savings,” he said. “The cost amounts to one large pizza a month. It’s very inexpensive.”

Recycling service begins July 20. The drop-off recycling centers throughout the city, also serviced by TFC, will remain in place.

Those who still wish to sign up can do so by visiting www.tfcrecycling.com/suffolk, or by calling 543-5766.