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Add metal pots and pans, and plastic lawn furniture to the list of recyclables now accepted in Cheektowaga, where wheeled recycling totes are expected to debut next spring.

Town officials announced this week that Republic Services, the private company paid an estimated $3 million annually by the town to collect recyclables, has expanded the types of materials it accepts.

“Some of the companies do pick up more than other companies,” Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz said Tuesday, explaining that she’s been working with Republic to expand its list.

The town’s current recycling contract with Republic Services, formerly known as Allied Waste, expires in April.

Now accepted are aluminum and metal pots and pans; plastic food, soap and beverage containers bearing numbers 1 through 7; and large rigid plastics – including lawn furniture and laundry baskets – that contain no metal; as well, milk and juice cartons and drink boxes.

But takeout coffee cups are a no-no.

The town is also planning to add wheeled totes for recycling next year.

Recycling totes could be offered in the same sizes as town garbage totes: 35, 65 and 95 gallons.

Cheektowaga may look to partner with another municipality in going out to bid, Holtz said; the Town of West Seneca and City of Lackawanna recently joined together to seek bids on totes.

Switching the recycling pickup schedule to every other week, which could save $1 million or more, is open for discussion, the supervisor said.

“Recycling is so important,” Holtz agreed Tuesday – not only for the environment but for the money the town can save in garbage tipping fees.

“Every pound that we can take out of the garbage tote saves us money,” Councilman Jerry Kaminski, chairman of the town’s Sanitation Committee, said at Monday’s Town Board meeting. “Recycling is the way to go.”

Since the implementation of wheeled garbage totes last year, however, Holtz said she has seen fewer of the town-issued, 18-gallon blue recycling bins at the curb on garbage nights.

“I want to re-emphasize the importance of recycling,” she said.

Toward that end, a series of public meetings will be scheduled, beginning in September.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com