Tybee to Launch Curbside Recycling Program

Tybee Island is setting an example for other cities on how to help save the environment. Starting in just a few weeks, residents will be able to take part in a brand new recycling program. This is curbside recycling, something new and different from anything else Chatham County has to offer.

And residents of Tybee are footing the bill, so supporters hope they all take part in the program. Council member Paul Wolff says this is an example for the rest of the county.

Bins will be given to all residents, "into which they can put 14 types of material including four different colors of glass, steel and aluminum cans," according the Wolff.

And something we're all familiar with: junk mail.

All residents will be paying for recycling whether they use the bins or not. "Each resident will be billed on their water bill 2.99 a month for the service and it will be once-a-week pickup," said Wolff.

And Wolff says, if the community cooperates, it will actually save them money on its garbage bill in the long run. "For every five pounds of a week that does not go into the landfill, based upon the last 12 months, we'll reduce our bill by seven cents a month," he said.

No other municipality has a program like this, and unincorporated Chatham County, which has a large dropoff site, says it would not be cost effective to start curbside. "Because there are still a lot of rural areas, and it is really hard to get to those on a weekly basis," explained Robert Drewery with Chatham County public works. "And primarily because we don't have control over the household garbage, this is picked up by private waste owners."

The recycling program is slated to start on Tybee on August 2. The City of Savannah says it has plans in the works for a new program, but officials aren't ready to talk about the details yet.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com