It's Easy Being Green
City adjusts to recycling
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:00 AM
City residents are still adapting to the recycling program rolled out a few months ago in Madison, but officials believe the program is off to a good start.
Street Superintendent Doug Vest said most residents have been adjusting to the new program, but some changes are still giving area residents problems.
"I do think it's an early success," Vest said. "I think it was a good move."
Still, Vest hopes residents are reading the orange tag if their recyclables are being left behind after the normal pickup. The orange tag has the reason why city employees didn't pick up the bin.
Vest said the biggest change in the program has been the change in use of clear plastic bags. Unlike the old recycling program, residents no longer need to place items to be recycled in a bag.
"Bags were not prohibitive," he said of the old recycling program. "Now they are."
Items should be loose in the red Rumpke recycling bin, or city residents may purchase trash cans (up to 64 gallons) and attach a free recycling sticker they pick up from city hall to designate the can as a recycling bin. Each bin has a 50-pound weight limit.
Rumpke, the company working with the city on the initiative, uses an automated system at the recycling facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. Each piece of recyclable material needs to be loose when going to the facility to be sorted properly, Vest said.
Another issue residents seem to have concerns recyclable plastics. Vest said Rumpke only accepts plastic jugs and bottles that have openings smaller than the bottle.
The city's recycling program accepts milk jugs, soda bottles and shampoo containers, he said.
Yogurt containers and butter containers aren't considered recyclable products with the program - even though the containers might have a recycling symbol on the packaging.
"There's no market for those types of plastics," he said.
The recycling program also accepts certain types of paper, including junk mail, office paper, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, clean pizza boxes and newspapers.
Books are not accepted.
Plastic bottles and jugs plus glass bottles and jars are accepted in the recycling program.
Styrofoam, window glass and drinking glasses or plastics that aren't bottles or jugs will not be accepted.
Clothing, shoes and rags also will not be accepted under the new recycling program.
Absolutely no plastic bags will be accepted in the city's recycling program, Vest said.
City officials ask residents to recycle plastic grocery bags at Kroger on Madison's hilltop.