Single-stream system makes it simple to recycle

No more cutting and bundling old cardboard. No more weeding out used cereal boxes. No more separating different types of plastics.

Single-stream recycling has arrived, at last, in the 11-town region of the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, which includes New Milford, Bridgewater, Sherman and Kent.

This is good news for consumers, who now have a much easier and simplified way to recycle.

This is good news for the 69 permitted trash haulers in the area, who can remain competitive in the industry.

And it is, most of all, good news for the environment.

Previously, not everything could be recycled in the area, such as old telephone books, paperbacks and certain types of plastics. Now less material will be going to waste.

Single-stream recycling is the progressive method for dealing with the piles of household waste generated every week, every month and every year.

But HRRA had been stymied from moving from the cumbersome dual-stream recycling -- separating everything -- to a single stream because the federal government held ownership of the regional recycling center since 2006.

That's when the previous owner, James Galante, was arrested on racketeering charges and later sent to prison for more than seven years.

The federal government did not want to make investments or changes while overseeing the facility on White Street in Danbury.

But the breakdown of old equipment there finally opened the door to change.

When the business was sold in March, the new owner, Joseph Winters, agreed to single-stream recycling.

We applaud the persistence of HRRA officials and board members, and we appreciate Mr. Winters' willingness to accept the new -- and needed -- method of recycling.

Now the responsibility falls to consumers.

Recycling has never been easier, and there should be no excuses for dumping into the garbage material that can be reused.