QUINCY -- There will be many changes next month to how Quincy residents dispose of recyclable items and household waste, and many residents have lingering questions about what exactly is changing.
Many questions deal with the recycling program, which on May 1 will become an opt-in recycling program. Participants will be charged $5 per month on their utility bill. An additional recycling tote costs $7.
A city press release said that purchasing an additional tote will not change the monthly fee.
Those wishing to sign up for the recycling program must visit the city utilities office at City Hall, 730 Maine, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Residents also can sign up by calling the office at 217-228-4580. Residents registering over the phone must provide a password associated with their utility account. Those without a password must visit the office and be prepared to present a valid photo identification card such as a driver's license.
The city announced last week that the utilities department would offer extended hours two days next month to accommodate customers who wish to opt-in to the recycling program. The department will be open until 7 p.m. Monday, May 6, and will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 11. Residents must present a valid photo identification card, such as a driver's licence, when signing up.
As of Monday, more than 2,050 households registered to participate in the opt-in program.
Residents who enroll will receive an 8-inch sticker that must be placed on the orange totes that are now used for recycling program. The stickers will be valid for one year.
Each sticker will be accompanied by a serial number that will link each tote to a particular address in Quincy. The serial number also is thought to be a deterrent for those who might steal a tote.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said that those who currently participate in the recycling program but do not plan to participate in the opt-in program should place their totes on the curb for retrieval.
City crews will begin retrieving the totes after May 1. In his recent town hall at Quincy Notre Dame High School, Moore pledged that recyclable items will continue to be collected on the same day as household waste.
Quincy's Central Services Director Kevin McClean said the recycling program will continue to include these items: plastic containers labeled as 1 or 2, tin food or beverage cans, newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail, corrugated cardboard and container board. Recyclable materials do not need to be sorted.
Other residents have had questions about the roll cart program, which is not changing.
The cost for the city's roll cart program will remain at $12.99 per month for a 96-gallon tote. Residents can sign up by calling the city's utilities department at 217-228-4580.
A one-time delivery fee of $60 will be charged. City officials say more than 1,250 Quincy residents have signed up for roll carts.
Moore said that residents who sign up for the carts will likely save money, as the trash bags inside the carts do not require a sticker.
"If your family uses more than four large bags a month, then your family will save money by using the roll cart," Moore said. Also beginning May 1, residents will pay $1.50 for bags less than 16 gallons and $3 for bags greater than 16 gallons.
For a smaller bag, this is the equivalent of two blue stickers or one red sticker. For a large bag, residents will need four blue stickers or two red stickers.
The city will continue to accept blue stickers until the supply is depleted.