SALEM — Mandatory recycling will begin with a gentle start in Salem.
The city’s new ordinance requiring residents to recycle takes effect July 1. No fines will be issued in the first three months as the city launches a campaign to explain the new policy.
The city’s trash hauler will begin leaving stickers on resident trash bins, and a newly hired recycling coordinator will be leaving door hangers explaining the policy, said Julie Rose, business manager in the city’s engineering department.
Salem resident Jeff Cohen was hired this week as recycling coordinator, a position created to educate residents about the new policy, encourage and track resident recycling and, ultimately, issue fines.
The policy, meant to save the city money on trash disposal, will have an extensive grace period but will ultimately mean a $25 fine to residents who repeatedly fail to put recycling on the curb. The ordinance was adopted by Salem’s City Council in May.
“It’s a great opportunity for the city to reduce solid waste and save the taxpayers a considerable amount of money,” Rose said. “It’s a great opportunity to help people do the right thing.”
Adoption of mandatory recycling qualified the city for a $50,000 state grant, some of which will be used to pay the recycling coordinator. The grant must be matched 25 percent by the city, said Rose, which will be funded by the city’s trash budget.
Four people applied for the recycling coordinator position, said Rose.
Cohen, a longtime city resident and UMass grad, is a landlord and his wife owns a business in town — all of which means he has a working knowledge of the city’s population and existing recycling programs, said Rose.
Cohen starts work Monday, Rose said. Through the first three months, he’ll work on assessing Salem’s current rates and patterns of recycling and educating residents about the new policy.