Local Government and Politics, News

What’s your recycling IQ? Lynn’s DPW will help you find out.

LYNN — The city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is launching the Recycling IQ Kit on Tuesday, May 29.

Its goal is to boost the quality of the recycling collected at curbside, and will run for 16 weeks through mid-September.

The program consists of direct mail sent to all residents, newspaper and social media ads, messaging on billboards, banners, store signs, and sandwich boards.

A team of summer workers has been hired to provide curbside feedback to 5,000 residents.

Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection program was operated in 10 neighborhoods and reached 5,000 households. As a result, recycling contamination fell by more than 70 percent, DPW said.

By the end of the two-year project, 40 percent of residents using the curbside trash and recycling program will have benefited from direct feedback, according to Lisa Nerich, DPW’s associated commissioner.

As part of Recycling IQ, workers examine 5,000 recycling bins. If they find plastic bags, trash or other things that don’t belong in the recycling cart, they will be tagged to signal the Waste Management not to pick up the carts.

Residents whose carts are tagged must get rid of the offending materials and put them out for the next recycling pickup day.

Bay State communities have reported a problem with things that do not belong in a recycling cart. Plastic bags are the biggest problem because they routinely shut down recycling processing plants, DPW said.

Food waste, foam containers, and even vacuum cleaners have turned up in recycling carts, say officials. It’s a problem because such items can contaminate an entire load, resulting in having to dispose of them and putting workers on the processing line in danger, Nedrich said.

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