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Camden’s new recycling program rolls along

Posted: November 23, 2012 5:00 p.m.
Updated: November 26, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Denise Schnese/C-I

Sarah Anne and Roger Smoak roll out their new blue city of Camden recycling bin. The Smoaks are participating in a pilot program the city launched in an effort to increase recycling among city residents.

Blue is the new green -- at least when it comes to recycling in Camden. In early October, some residents’ old green bins were replaced with blue rolling bins as part of a pilot program offered by the city of Camden.  

The program was developed to encourage greater recycling efforts and to make the process easier for residents.  

The rolling blue bins, which are three and a half times larger than the current containers, have been issued to residents who applied to participate in the program. Residents wanting to participate can fill in a participation form and their green bins will be replaced during the regular recycling pick-up days by city crews.

City resident Crystal Smoak was happy to participate.

“We used to have to take two of the green bins out to the road, and sometimes they would get wet,” Smoak said. “Not only that but dogs would get in them and the paper would blow everywhere. The blue bins are so much better.”

Now Smoak and her children roll out the new bin with ease.

Shelley Salmond, city of Camden sanitation supervisor, also emphasized that the city’s use of a single-stream method not only simplifies the recycling process for residents, but for city sanitation employees as well. Single-stream recycling means residents don’t have to separate out their recyclables -- newspapers, glass, plastics, etc. -- can be placed in the same bin. Guidelines are available on the city’s website.

“We send the recyclable materials to Sonoco, a single-stream recycling facility in Columbia. Recycling to a single-stream facility means the city and customer do not have to sort the different types of materials,” Salmond said.

According to Salmond, the city of Camden recycles an average of 24 tons of materials per year using the green bins. He said increased recycling saves on landfill costs, as well as extends the life of any landfills the city uses.

With more materials being diverted to Columbia to be recycled that means less trash is taking up space in the county landfills, Salmond said. Considering the size of the new bins, he said that creates the potential for a significant reduction in landfill waste ... a trend which could benefit both city and county residents alike.  

For more information about the pilot program and how you can participate, please contact Camden City Hall at 432-2421 or go to the city’s website at under the Residents link to complete a participation form.


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