LOCKPORT - The town began delivering new wheeled recycling totes to residents on Monday, as it prepares to switch to every-other-week recycling pickup as of Jan. 1.
Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said every home in the town should have its tote by Friday, along with a printout of the garbage and recycling schedule and the rules for using the totes.
Although Waste Management, the town's refuse contractor, will continue to pick up the old 18-gallon hand-carried recycling bins until the end of this month, Crocker said homeowners may start using the new totes right away.
"Waste Management has the mechanical arms on their trucks to pick them up," Crocker said.
After Jan. 1, the old bins can be recycled, or kept by residents for another use, Crocker said. The handheld bins are the property of the homeowner, but the new wheeled totes are considered town property.
The change to the 64- or 96-gallon recycling totes has no impact on the collection of regular weekly garbage, although town officials hope there will be less of it because of more recycling.
Residents will continue to be allowed to place as many as six bags or cans of garbage at the curb each week. Unlike the City of Lockport, which also uses wheeled totes for garbage, the town is using them only for recycling.
Crocker said almost 500 homes in the rural parts of town will have a different garbage pickup day after Jan. 1, because Waste Management wanted to consolidate the recycling routes. Letters have been sent to those affected by that change.
In the past five years, biweekly recycling programs have become typical in Niagara County. Dawn M. Timm, the county's environmental science coordinator, said the only municipalities that are not using that format are the City of North Tonawanda, the Town of Niagara and Town and Village of Lewiston.
North Tonawanda, which collects its own trash rather than hiring a hauler, is phasing the system in, Timm said. The Village of Lewiston also picks up its own trash. The towns of Lewiston and Niagara receive deep discounts on refuse collection because they are home to garbage disposal businesses: Modern Disposal and Republic Services, respectively.