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New recycling bins hit the streets

The rules aren't changing much when Superior kicks off a new recycling program this week. Crews were out Thursday delivering the 65-gallon carts in the Allouez neighborhood. The program does mean less sorting and eliminates the need keep paper-fi...

Recycle
Dellarae Durfee of KWM Construction delivers 65-gallon carts in the Allouez neighborhood Thursday, beginning the roll out of a new recycling program that no longer requires sorting of materials. KWM was contracted by Hartel's/DBJ Disposal to deliver the new containers. (Shelley Nelson/snelson@superiortelegram.com)

The rules aren't changing much when Superior kicks off a new recycling program this week.

Crews were out Thursday delivering the 65-gallon carts in the Allouez neighborhood.

The program does mean less sorting and eliminates the need keep paper-fiber products separated from plastics, glass and metal cans.

However, recyclers still can't take broke glass. Rinsing containers clean, tossing bottle caps in the trash, removing labels from cans and plucking spray tips from aerosol cans also add to the safety of the workers with disabilities hired to sort Superior's recycled materials.

"Nothing really changes," said Dan Hartel, owner of Hartel's/DBJ Disposal, which operates Superior's residential recycling program. "They still have to be prepared and cleaned the same way."

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Beyond that, as the new 65-gallon recycling carts roll out, reducing the amount of trash that heads to the landfill gets easier. The new carts have more than three times the capacity of the city's existing 18-gallon totes. Rather than carrying totes filled with recycled materials to the front curb every two weeks, people will be able to wheel their new carts in the same direction they take their trash now.

It will no longer be necessary for people to bag and separate their paper and cardboard products from No. 1 and 2 plastics, glass and metal cans.

"They won't need to bag anything up," Hartel said. "It can all go into the cart loose. In fact, we prefer no bags being used at all. It will help on the processing end ... as far as the customer -- that will be the only change in how they handle the materials."

He said paper bags, previously used to separate paper from plastics, glass and metals, can be thrown in the cart.

Plastic bags, Styrofoam, packing peanuts, light bulbs, mirrors, window glass, ceramics, ovenware, dishes, drinking glasses, scrap metal, hangers, oil/antifreeze containers, pizza boxes, paper towels, paper plates and scrap wood are not recyclable.

"Certainly where they put their material is going to change," Hartel said. "Once the cart comes, that's going to follow the garbage cart."

For residents who currently have trash collected from an alley behind their home, recycling carts will be picked up there every other week. Residents who don't have an alley in their neighborhood will place their recycling carts the same place trash carts are placed.

The recycling schedule remains unchanged.

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The council decided to implement the expanded recycling program with a goal of increasing participation in the city's mandatory program.

Hartel said he is optimistic the new program will achieve that goal -- particularly among people who recycle "until the bin is full."

Simplifying the process to single-sort carts has increased the amount of recycling in some parts of rural Douglas County, where residential programs have been implemented.

One of the drawbacks of a curbside program, in winter in particular, is people have to take their recyclables in one direction and their trash in the other, Hartel said. By putting all those materials in one location, he said he is optimistic the program will see increased participation, which could keep materials out of landfill.

The $1.9 million, five-year program, is being paid for through profits at the landfill.

"The ease of sorting, the convenience of the cart and the convenience of the cart location should get people who are recycling to recycle more, and should get people who aren't recycling -- it should get them to participate.

City officials estimate that 30-40 percent of city residents recycle currently. They expect that the new program will keep

For more information about the residential recycling program, call the city's recycling information line at 395-1293, or the Department of Public Works at 395-7334 or Hartel's/DBJ Disposal at (218) 729-5446.

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