Single stream recycling refers to a system in which all paper fibers and containers are mixed together in a collection truck, instead of being sorted into separate commodities (newspaper, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc.) by the resident and handled separately throughout the collection process. In single stream, both the collection and processing systems are designed to handle this fully commingled mixture of recyclables.

Proponents of single stream note several advantages:


  • Reduced sorting effort by residents may mean more recyclables are placed at the curb and more residents may participate in recycling;


  • Reduced collection costs because single-compartment trucks are cheaper to purchase and operate, collection can be automated, and collection routes can be serviced more efficiently;


  • Greater fleet flexibility which allows single compartment vehicles to be used for refuse or recycling, providing greater fleet flexibility and reducing the number of reserve vehicles needed. To avoid confusing customers, a large sign or banner is sometimes used to distinguish when a refuse truck is being used for recycling.


  • Since participation requires less work by residents, volume per household may increase.


  • Worker injuries may decrease because the switch to single stream is often accompanied by a switch from bins to cart-based collection.


  • Changing to single stream may provide an opportunity to update the collection and processing system and to add new materials to the list of recyclables accepted; and


  • More paper grades may be collected, including junk mail, telephone books and mixed residential paper

Solterra Recycling Solutions single stream
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The following material can be recycled ONLY if they are free of food waste.

A good rinse should be sufficient for most items!

Download Recycling Guidelines brochure. (PDF)


• Plastics marked with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 (no #6)
• Aluminum cans
• Aluminum trays and foil (cleaned)
• Aerosol cans
• Steel and tin cans
• Glass jars and bottles
• Lids to bottles, jugs, jars and other containers
• Newspapers and inserts (remove plastic sleeves)
• Magazines, catalogs, phone books
• Office and school paper
• Cardboard
• Boxboard (cereal boxes, etc.)
• Brown paper bags
• Paperback books
• Paper-only junk mail

Solterra Recycling Solutions single stream recycling