Recycling carts on their way to WorthingtonWORTHINGTON — In a county that already recycles nearly 50 percent of its waste stream, new, larger recycling carts are welcome news for Worthington residents.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — In a county that already recycles nearly 50 percent of its waste stream, new, larger recycling carts are welcome news for Worthington residents.
Schaap Sanitation will begin delivery of the 95-gallon green recycling carts on Thursday in Zones 1 and 4, according to Schaap’s District Manager Eric Joens.
It will take approximately one week to deliver curbside the 2,000 carts to residents in those zones.
Carts for the residents of Zones 2 and 3 will be delivered beginning Sept. 8.
The carts take the place of the existing 22-gallon bins residents of Worthington have used for recycling for many years.
“It’s outdated — it doesn’t have the capacity for today’s needs,” said Joens.
With the larger-capacity carts, recycling days will shift to every other week, either on Thursday or Friday, depending on the zone.
“By having these carts, we provide additional capacity for those people that need it,” said Joens, adding that the cost of the residential recycling program will remain the same.
In addition to providing residents with a larger container for recycling, Joens said another benefit of the carts is their attached lid, which are the same as the lids on garbage containers used by residents.
The lids will protect the recyclables from exposure to wind, rain and snow, and will also help to keep wild animals out of the recycled material.
In other words, he said it looks “neat and clean.”
The carts will be emptied via the company’s automated truck with arm, which makes pick-up less hazardous for employees and “much more pleasant when it’s raining and very cold out,” Joens said.
When the carts are delivered, they will come with a map of the zones and recycling pick-up schedule, as well as information on the types of products that are acceptable in the community recycling program. Items to be placed in the recycling cart include aluminum and tin, cardboard, glass, paper and plastics numbered 1 through 7. Food and beverage containers should be rinsed. Clean aluminum foil, pie tins and cans are accepted, while clear, green and brown (amber) glass may be included in recycling.
Joens said the company will be watching to make sure non-recyclables — trash — are not collected from the recycling carts.
“We have cameras that see the material that goes into the truck,” he said. “We will actually have employees, for the first few weeks, going ahead of the trucks and checking the containers to see they have the proper materials in there.”
Those who don’t comply will receive a note on their recycling cart and door, and Joens said residents who are multiple offenders of the recycling policy will face the potential to not get their items picked up.
“Ninety percent of all the people that recycle do an outstanding job,” said Joens. “It’s probably 10 percent of the people that need a little extra education.”
Residents are asked to put their recycling carts on the curbside the night prior to pick-up, as has been the case with the recycling bins. All material — including cardboard — should be placed inside the recycling cart. If it is full prior to recycling day, Joens said people may stack their additional recyclable items alongside the cart for collection.
Worthington will be the first community served by Schaap Sanitation to make the switch to the larger recycling carts.
“We started the carted recycling program in the city of Worthington because it was where we had the largest amount of requests,” he said. “I do foresee offering this service to all the other communities we service.
“It was really a simple choice. When people continue to grow that volume of recyclables, we need to manage that as neatly and cleanly as possible,” he added.
Nobles County has the highest recycling rate of any of the surrounding counties in southwest Minnesota.
“We have always promoted recycling,” said Joens. “Even when other states quit accepting materials, we kept our program going. We’ve stratified the waste stream and basically broke it in half so these materials are used a second time and sometimes a third or fourth time.”
The recycling bins that residents currently have may be placed curbside for pick-up on Oct. 4 throughout Worthington. Those bins will be reused in other communities or recycled.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the new recycling carts is asked to call Schaap Sanitation at 376-9218.