After additional deliberation based on lack of personnel, the district is limited public access to the drop point to only Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm and on Saturday from 8 am to 12:30 pm. The drop point will be closed to public drop off on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Holidays, and Saturday afternoon. In addition, the district will no longer accept pigmented plastic #2, plastic #3-7, mixed paper (catalogs, junk mail, magazines, file folders, etc.) or newspaper (from residents). We are not the only program in the nation that is having to reduce the materials accepted as there is a growing lack of available market for these commodities. In addition, these materials have a high contamination rate. I have been saddened by the lack of consideration of a few people who are refusing to pull their styrofoam and plastic packing materials from their cardboard. The value of the cardboard is $130 per ton, transportation costs alone are about $80 to $85 per ton. Two of the loads sent by the district were rejected because of too much plastic. This means the district did not even receive money to pay for the transportation costs.
We will continue to consider all reasonable options for waste diversion in our community, but just like other entities across the world, we are facing not only economic factors of reduced income to pay for recycling, but a lack of personnel to process the materials. What has been helping in recent weeks are the number of volunteers assisting in picking up the recycling drop area. The dumpster that has been present for the past month will be removed in the next few weeks. We placed that to help folks that had not gotten the message to not bring the materials we are no longer recycling. The materials in that roll off are not being recycled but are being sent to the transfer station to be taken to the Klondike Landfill for burial. We are having to pay for the disposal costs, just as any other entity that contracts for a roll off.
At this time, the district will continue to recycle cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, plastic #1 threaded bottles, non pigmented plastic #2 (translucent milk jugs), glass bottles/jugs/jars, books, and office paper (no envelopes, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, etc.). Commercial entities bringing material to the center will be charged $4 per cubic yard to help offset costs to receive, process and ship.
Change is a part of living, but it can be very challenging when the change is not what we want or desire. The patience and support of the community as we make these hard choices is appreciated.