Several new trash recycling initiatives and policies are in place in Salem, mostly because of changes that are the result of the city having rebid its trash and recycling contracts last spring, a move that resulted in $250,000 in annual savings. The city entered into contracts with Northside Carting for curbside collection of trash and recyclables, Covanta Energy for trash disposal, and the Newark Group for processing recyclables. As a result of its new contract with Covanta, the city now offers free recycling of products that contain mercury. It has also initiated free recycling of electronic items such as computers and televisions and free disposal of medical sharps. Additionally, while maintaining the existing curbside trash limit of three barrels or three bags — not to exceed 35 gallons or 50 pounds in all — the city now offers overflow bags for additional trash. The bags are available for $2.50 each at several local stores. And on July 1, a new city ordinance that requires the public to recycle took effect. The rule pertains to all commonly recyclable items, including paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and aluminum. For more information, contact the Engineering Department at 978-619-5679.