The criticism of single-stream is that the method renders what's collected is difficult to recycle. Well, if you cannot use it, why collect it in the first place?
Single-stream collection was invented by the waste, not the recycling industry to reduce its collection costs. Period.
But since this is the system that we now have, we should participate to the best of our ability and support it.
Fortunately we don't live in Houston, which just won $1 million dollars from the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge to implement a program in which everything, trash and recycling, can be thrown into one container.
With the fancy slogan, "One Bin for All," the mayors of New York City and Houston call it "recycling." It used to be called "trash."
Our leaders know better than to throw a million dollars into the trash and try to tell us that it's recycling.