A minimum of signatures needed for curbside recycling in Oregon

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon residents who want curbside recycling can sign up with a service provider, but a minimum of 350 signatures is needed for the program.
        Former Councilwoman Sandy Bihn has been looking into a subscription service for curbside recycling since it was dropped in the city’s new refuse contract with Republic, which started last week.
        Bihn said a company, Recyclops, has expressed an interest in providing curbside recycling. A minimum of 350 residents must first sign up on their website recyclops.com. If enough sign up, then a $10 registration fee, and an annual $10 cost for bags would be required.
        The company services several communities in Utah and Arizona, and one in Texas. Besides Oregon, there are several “pre-launch” locations across the country as well.
        “They haven’t really come into the Midwest yet,” said Bihn. “They saw we were no longer going to have curbside recycling and reached out to us. Some people from the city and myself followed through and asked some questions.”
        She said she had talked to officials in a town in Utah who have had the service with Recyclops for a year and a half. They were pleased by the service.”
        “You have to have a certain number of people to sign up before it will start. For Oregon, it’s 350 minimum. They ask for your credit card number because that’s how they get paid. You don’t get charged until the 350 people are signed up.”
        The company then hires local people with pickup trucks at around $25 per hour, she said.
        “They pick up the recycling every other week. They will take it to a material recycling facility. There is one in Southfield, Michigan, and one outside Cleveland. One of the problems is we don’t have material recycling facilities near here, which would make it more economical. Right now, there’s no cost to anybody until we get the minimum of 350 residents to sign up.”
        Oregon residents saw changes in their refuse collection starting Dec. 1. Automated trucks are now picking up containers, though residents may still put out bags of garbage. The city still provides unlimited refuse pickup.
        City council weeks ago voted for a five year contract with Republic Services of Toledo for refuse and yard waste collection and disposal. It had previously contracted with Waste Management, whose refuse collection and recycling service with the city ended last week. The new contract with Republic Services of Toledo does not include curbside recycling due to a big increase in costs.
        Curbside recycling services are facing challenges across the country, with many communities discontinuing their recycling programs. Much of the items placed in recycling bins are being rejected at the recycling center or are being shipped overseas and put in landfills. The global market has not changed or improved, and the cost to process the recycling continues to rise. China used to be the biggest importer of recycled materials for the U.S. But in 2018, it stopped accepting most foreign recyclables to cut down on pollution. China continues to limit its recycling import product to a 0.5 percent contamination limit. This limit massively affects the global market for recycling and increases the processing costs.
        The city is providing recycle drop-off sites in conjunction with the Lucas County Solid Waste District. The sites are shown on a map on the city’s website.
        There are four drop-off sites: The Starr Avenue side of Pearson Metropark, the municipal complex at 5330 Seaman Road, Fire Station No. 3, 4421 Bayshore Road, and the Eastern Community YMCA, 2960 Pickle Road between Coy and Wheeling.
        The drop off sites will accept aluminum, plastic, paper, glass, and clean cardboard containers.
Private option
        City Administrator Mike Beazley said the city hopes that curbside recycling will be included in a future contract. He is taking a “wait and see” attitude with a subscription service with Recyclops.
        “This is the sort of thing, if we can get it going, we can put on our website,” said Beazley. “We want people to know there is a private option available to them in addition to the recycling drop-off sites. We’ll see how it goes. As we said over the last few months, we’re all kind of learning the new path on recycling. We’re trying to figure out the best approach as we go forward. This is one possible approach. Let’s see what kind of interest there is, get some community sense of it, and see what council wants to do. Just take it a step at a time. ”Residents can sign up at the recyclops.com website. Click “Oregon” under “pre-launch locations.”


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