May 11, 2017 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterA month ago, the City of Riverton decided to try a new curbside recycling system for its residents and as a result saw an increase in customers.
Part of the new system included recycling pick-up services all month long - as opposed to three weeks each month.
The old program also only allowed one type of recyclable to be disposed on a designated week. Now, residents can put out all accepted recyclables on any given week.
Items must still be separated and sorted into containers.
Before the new program was implemented there were 15 recycling days per month. Beginning April 1 that number increased to 20 days, public works secretary Krista Ramage said.
The public works department reported 24 new customers in April, but the increase has been ongoing since the beginning of the year.
In January, the city gained four new customers, with five more in February and 18 in March.
"We started advertising in March, as well as inserting flyers with the new recycling procedures in the customers' recycling totes," Ramage said.
The numbers are slowly climbing, and the new customers are mostly spread throughout the city, operations division manager Gregg Schaub said.
"Things have been good so far," he said.
Curbside recycling employee Videll Shadden said residents are doing an excellent job at sorting items. Each pick-up is easier as well, he said, because residents are not letting the recyclables accumulate substantially over the month.
Previously, loads were bulkier and heavier.
"It's easier for us, and it's easier for the citizens," Schaub said.
The city only employs two crew members for curbside recycling, and Schaub doesn't anticipate immediately adding another employee to the pair.
The city did recently advertise for a recycling program employee but only to fill in the spot of an employee who belongs to another city department.
With the new customers, and ever since drop-off stations were eliminated Nov. 1, Schaub said the city has seen a noticeable increase in the amount of recyclables collected. Although the loads are not as big, people are getting rid of more items consistently.
In January, crews were collecting an average of 1,140 pounds of recyclables per day. The number grew to 1,220 pounds in February and 1,230 pounds in March then jumped to 1,760 pounds in April -- roughly 530 pounds more than the previous month.
Monthly totals have been growing, too. In January, the city collected a total of 17,200 pounds of recyclables, up to 18,300 pounds in February and 18,420 pounds in March. In April the number nearly doubled for a total of 35,340 pounds.
"People that were signed up before and were taking it to the drop-off sites have started using (curbside)," Schaub said.
The amount of plastics collected has increased by four times, paper by twice as much and aluminum by three times as much. All other materials have also increased. Cardboard "kind of comes and goes," Schaub said was the feedback he got from Shadden.
"Thank you to everyone for the good sorting and breaking down of the cardboard," he added.
Items still must be separated and sorted in different containers by 7 a.m. on the day of collection, or city crews will not pick them up.
The city tracks recycling participation using bar codes that are placed on the sides of containers.
The curbside program operates Monday through Friday.
Plastic bags, film, Styrofoam, medicine bottles, and chemical containers won't be accepted. The city will accept No. 1 and No. 2 plastic bottles, and caps are OK. Also accepted are steel and aluminum, but the aluminum should be separated from tin and steel items.
Paper and corrugated cardboard that is broken down also will be accepted, but packaging materials like bubble wrap and foam must be removed. Paper containers that hold broth, juice or milk will not be accepted. Also not accepted are plastic toys such as sleds or pools.
Containers no larger than 16 gallons should be used to hold the items. Lids on bins are highly recommended to reduce blowing materials.
The curbside program will remain free to residents, who are also eligible for a discount on their utility bill if they sign up.
To register, residents can call the recycling hotline at 857-7744, or stop by City Hall, 816 N. Federal Blvd., for more information.
People can drop off items 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Riverton Bale Station, 329 N. Smith Rd. The yard waste facility is now open through the first snowfall. Yard waste pick up is also now available.
Organic yard waste includes leaves, grass clippings, wood waste less than three inches in diameter, and garden waste.
Call 856-3687 for additional information.
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