Archive for December 19, 2020

Breaking: Long Beach Recycling to Change in only 12 Days on 1/1/2021

Why doesn’t anyone know?




In the fall of 2019, we knew that City of Long Beach Recycling would soon change and become more complicated during the City’s 10-year Waste Management Plan hearing process. We thank everyone who got involved, attended, and helped get answers from the city and the contractor. You can see our filed comments on the plan here. 
There, we pushed for maximum communication from the city, and city officials promised they would educate residents many months before the recycling contract ran out on 12/31/2020. We supported their efforts to win public education matching grant funding, which they have been granted.  We know its a tough year, and here is what is happening:

Recycling will change in Long Beach… in just 12 days- during a pandemic, over holiday time with still no notice from the city to residents.

We had been waiting for details but can no longer wait to let you know – it will be very difficult to educate the public, and time is running out!

We spoke to the city 3 weeks ago to offer support and help to assure success of any new program rollout. We asked it be announced at tree and menorah lightings and any other city events to get word out. The City of Long Beach must do better on public communication for this to succeed!  Though the city has not released details as yet, the basic new program we were told will be:
Dual stream(all still to be confirmed):
  1. paper products must be separated for one pickup; and
  2. other items together in another pickup (status of glass not confirmed).
    1. We commend the city who told us they are still PICKING THEM BOTH UP WEEKLY ON THE SAME DAY AS EACH OTHER, WITH TWO SEPARATE TRUCKS. This is huge to keep the items from building up, from getting trashed, and/or from blowing away to become pollution!
    2. This MAY require recycling pickup dates to CHANGE, as they may break up the citywide pickup into smaller areas, each with it’s own pickup day (awaiting details).
  3. there likely will be other new instructions, restrictions, changes, and exclusions that we are not yet aware of, that could complicate public education and a smooth transition
  4. residents could more easily make the change if given the info and time, and we are disappointed that although they said they had a plan, written instructions, and everything ready to go for weeks, and after a two week delay on voting the measure in, that there is still no release of this information to the public.
Lack of … time, public awareness, acceptance, and education will lead to a difficult launch on January 1, and could lead to a potential backlash against the concept of recycling, as well as recyclables mistakenly blown away into the environment, which is why we have ardently advocated to AVOID miscommunication!  In other places, the same process played out over last year’s holiday season, when it is so difficult to get people’s attention. Predictably, it did not go well.   see- Residents criticize rollout of Valley Stream recycling program. Rocky start for dual-stream?
Valley Stream Village officials held a presentation, got a front-page Herald article, used social media, sent robocalls and flyers mailed to homes, plus other communications. It wasn’t enough. Hundreds of complaints came in and confusion went on for weeks. We asked the City of Long Beach to please avoid this mistake with clear communication. With COVID and cancelled City Council meetings, we understand it has been difficult to turn the information around. Still, it is 4 days since the council approved the change and nothing has been done.
We agree with leaders in Valley Stream and Long Beach that solving the materials waste and recycling crisis needs to be a priority on the STATEWIDE LEVEL. The separate small municipalities, who are each responsible for their own waste removal, cannot address the “big picture” issues alone, when they are all governed by statewide law.
Our Zero Single Use campaign rolls out in the coming weeks, which will address the underlying issues causing our materials and recycling problems.
If you would like to be part of that volunteer team or to help get word out about the new recycling changes in Long Beach- please sign up here for more detailed information as it becomes available.
All Our Energy stand ready to help Long Beach maintain a robust recycling program, with maximum participation and awareness, to best protect our environment, and stand ready to help the program succeed.
To do so, the City must communicate now!