By Joe Bachman
The first month of single-stream recycling is almost complete, and so far it’s been a success.
The Sustainability Council met Wednesday night at city hall for an update on the new city recycling program. Street Superintendent Paul Vollert gave an optimistic outlook of the city’s early recycling success, though there are still areas of improvement necessary.
So far this year the city has picked up between five and six tons of recyclables per day, which is up from the 2016 average of only 3.1 tons. Higher numbers of recyclables means less garbage, and a cleaner city for residents.
“This is some exciting news that we’re virtually 75 percent more than what we were as an average for 2016,” said Vollert. “Most of the vendors have said that we’d see at least a 30 percent increase from going to single-streaming, and we’re hitting that, if not exceeding that.”
However, the early success has not come without small setbacks. A small percentage of items collected have been trash, as some residents have been under the impression that literally all waste can go into the recycling bins. Handouts have been created by the city that outlines what can and cannot go into recycling bins through single-stream service.
“We’re doing a little more this month as far as educating people on where to put the carts, and things like that,” said Vollert. This includes ‘tagging’ certain recycling bins that are out of place or facing the wrong way for pickup. “The tags aren’t meant to be a citation or anything like that — it’s an educational piece.”
It is important that if you haven’t removed your bag on your recycling bin to do so, now.
“The hope is that as this program goes along, we’re going to be able to collect faster and cheaper.” said Mayor Zach Vruwink.