PORTSMOUTH - Portsmouth began curbside recycling today.

Over the past few weeks, 32,000 blue recycling carts have been delivered to Portsmouth residents and they received cards in the mail with the schedule and list of items that can and can't be collected.

'I am happy to report that we are seeing around a 55% participation rate on our first day of collection,' Dennis L. Bagley, director of General Services, told

The program will give residents a convenient way to recycle, said City spokeswoman Dana Woodson.

Residents can set out their bin every other week depending on the pickup schedule - 'blue' or 'white' week. The bin goes to the curb on your usual trash pickup day by 7:00 a.m.

This is the blue week; the first recycling for people on the white week is August 26.

'Folks in Portsmouth have embraced the recycling program and I am so pleased with all of the support,'Bagley added.

If you haven't received a recycling cart or want to exchange the 95-gallon cart for a smaller, 35-gallon cart, contact the Waste Management Division at 393-8663. You can get more information and check whether your home is on a blue or white week by going to the City's Website.

The items will be separated, baled, and prepared for market to ultimately be used to make new products.

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