Single-Stream Recycling

  1. Environmental Services
  2. Garbage and Recycling
Environmental Services

Environmental Services Building

4277 Wire Rd, Suite 100

Catrina Cook

Catrina Cook

Environmental Services Director

Single-stream Recycling began December 2017


The City of Auburn transitioned to single-stream recycling on Dec. 4, 2017! Using 95-gallon blue recycling carts, customers will now be able to place all recyclables into one container and place them at the curbside on their scheduled garbage collection day. Acceptable single-stream materials are:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Paper: all types including junk mail, envelopes, magazines, newspapers, office paper, etc.
  • Plastic: #1 through #7, including plastic bottles and food containers; no toys
  • Steel/tin cans

NO glass, plastic bags, plastic straws, Styrofoam or any other material is accepted as part of single-stream recycling. Glass can be recycled at our Recycling Drop-off Center at 365-A N. Donahue Drive.

Why did the City of Auburn convert to single-stream curbside recycling?

The annual Citizen Survey five-year trend indicated a 7.3 percent decline in satisfaction with our curbside recycling program. Citizen dissatisfaction revolves around not being able to place all recyclables into one container instead of having to separate them into different containers. In an effort to address the recycling needs of citizens, the City applied for and was awarded a $288,000 grant to implement single-stream recycling.

Single-stream is convenient for the recycler

Residents can place all recyclables into one container then simply roll the container to the curb for collection instead of having to carry the material to the curb in separate containers. Since the blue 95‐gallon recycling cart is the same size as your green garbage cart, use of the cart will:

  • Provide extra capacity where residents may not have to place the cart out for collection every week
  • Allow bulky items like cardboard to be recycled easily
  • Keep recyclables contained (reducing potential for litter) and dry
  • Provide extra capacity for future recycling growth

Single-stream increases recovery of recyclable material

Curbside recycling programs that transition to the single-stream method using carts tend to see increases in participation and material recovery at a faster rate than programs that do not use single-stream. For instance, one city in Alabama that recently made the transition to single-stream carts realized an increase in participation of 26 percent and material recovery of roughly 40 percent.

Single-stream lowers program cost

Program cost savings realized when utilizing curbside single-stream recycling versus the current source separation method are as follows:

  • Decreased landfill disposal costs as result of decreased household garbage tonnage
  • Use of automated trucks for collection instead of specialized compartment‐sorted recycling trucks provide:
    • Fewer employees needed to collect recyclables
    • Increased worker safety
    • Decreased workers’ compensation insurance costs
    • Better collection route efficiency
    • Larger automated trucks will not fill up as fast due to size and the ability to compact the material in the vehicle versus the use of traditional recycling trucks