AUGUSTA — It’s back to rubbish pickup every week for Augusta residents. Twenty-five years after the city kicked off its monthly curbside pickup of source-separated items, the program is ending.

The once-a-month curbside recycling pickup has been supplanted by single-stream recycling bins placed at various locations in the city.

The changeover begins May 1. The city has alerted residents by mailing large colorful postcards with “Trash Talk” in large letters.

The notification too is on the city’s website at

On Monday, Public Works Director Lesley Jones said source-separated recycling is no longer economically feasible.

“Technology has made source-separating obsolete, and single stream has allowed people to recycle so much more,” she said. Those items include a number of plastic items that the city’s previous program did not accept.

Also, she noted the decline in participation of curbside recycling since the single-stream bins were put out.

According to information sent on behalf of the city’s Department of Public Works, rubbish should be placed at curbside by 7 a.m. on the scheduled pickup day. Regulations say the rubbish can be in cans or in bags and weigh a maximum of 40 pounds per bag.

The city’s recent single-stream recycling efforts have proved so popular that another collection site, the Buker Community Center on Armory Street, was added shortly after the program began. The other bins are located at City Center on Cony Street, the Hatch Hill Landfill on Hatch Hill and at the John Charest Public Works Facility on North Street.

The ones at City Center and at the Buker center are available to the public all day every day.

City councilors had voted Dec. 17, 2015, to end the curbside recycling program on May 1. The program had been in effect since 1991.

City figures show that last year the curbside recycling program collected 120 tons at a cost of $879 per ton, compared to 160 tons at a cost of $113 a ton collected in the single-stream drop-off recycling program.

The same order expanded rubbish pickup from 40 weeks per year to all 52 weeks of the year.

At that December meeting, Jones said city’s lone recycling truck was expected to last through May but would be unlikely to pass another inspection. Continuing the current recycling program — which requires residents to place glass, metal and No. 2 plastic in separate bins — would have cost the city about $50,000 to replace the truck’s rusted body.

The council’s recycling subcommittee had recommended the city not do that.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams