A year after curbside collection of all recyclable spread through Haverhill's neighborhoods, apartment renters and condo owners also want to share in the program.
The Team Haverhill civic organization has begun hosting informational meetings on bringing single-stream recycling to people living in the city's numerous apartment and condo complexes.
"A fair number of residents in apartments do not have recycling," said Mike LeBonte, a Team Haverhill member coordinating the expansion effort. "There are people living in those places who want recycling. We're just getting going, but this is a little idea that might turn into another project."
The city's single-stream curbside recycling program, which went into effect in July 2010, allows residents to place containers with mixed recyclable items out with their trash. The materials are picked up by Capitol Waste, the city's waste disposal contractor.
Although citizens can put out as many recycling containers out as they want, residents must place on the containers a special sticker supplied by the city. Capitol Waste added the expanded recycling service at no cost to the city in exchange for extending the city's trash disposal contract until 2014.
Haverhill's Board of Health regulations state the city can offer recycling and trash pick up only to buildings with less than eight units. Large buildings must pay for their own trash and recycling pick-up services.
LeBonte hosted an informal meeting on issue earlier this month and plans to host more in the coming months to figure out what programs and companies are used by Haverhill's apartments and condos.
Penny Davis, a condo owner on School Street, said her condo association doesn't offer any sort of recycling program. She said she'd like the city to offer some kind of recycling program for people living in apartments and condos.
"You pay your condo fee, you pay your taxes, you get nothing," she said. "They should be doing something." Steve Clifford, the city's recycling coordinator, said he'd like to expand recycling, but the current contract with Capitol Waste states the city cannot add any more locations for pickup and that the company couldn't make the additional stops without adding trucks.
"We wish that even if you had your own trash removal we could pick up your recycling," he said. "Right now we can't do it with the limited resources."
Even with just residential pick up, Clifford said Haverhill recycled more than 3,650 tons last year with the city's participation rate in recycling increasing from 10 to 15 percent. Haverhill still lags behind the state average of 36 percent.
Mayor James Fiorentini has said trash disposal savings from the program over the last year reached about $109,000. In addition, the city also sells it's recycled materials to Integrated Paper Recyclers in North Andover for $22.50 per ton.
City Councilor Colin LePage, a long-standing advocate of the single stream recycling program, said condos and apartment buildings could look into coordinating single locations for their residents to drop off recyclable material.
"The city has saved money by adding a service," he said. "The city could save even more."