City to launch recycling program
Saturday, April 12, 2014 5:00 AM
The city of Madison is recycling its recycling program, and rolling out a new system aimed at being more user-friendly and cost-effective.
On April 26, city officials will be handing out free red recycling bins - at the hilltop Kroger from 9 a.m. to noon and at Bicentennial Park from 2 to 5 p.m. - for the new recycling program that will be rolled out May 5 through Rumpke, the company working with the city on the initiative.
Andrew Forrester, community relations manager for the city, said the new program makes recycling easier and comes at no additional cost to residents. Under the program, recyclables can all be placed in a bin and no longer have to be separated into clear, plastic bags.
"We went and looked at their (Rumpke's) facility and were very impressed. We liked it because of the flexibility it allows our citizens to make it easier to recycle," Forrester said.
In March, the city signed a six-year deal with Rumpke and purchased a new trash truck that will be used for recycling pick up.
Street Superintendent Doug Vest said the program will make the city greener and save it money as well.
"The more we recycle, the less it costs us to take (non-recycled) stuff to the landfill," Vest said. "When we take your trash in at the transfer station, then it has to be processed and sent out and we have to pay for the hauling."
He went on to say that the city should save money because of the new truck that will be used for recycling.
The city is currently using two flat-bed trucks with three people manning them. It also takes multiple trips to and from the transfer station to pick up the day's recycling.
But with the new truck, an entire day's recycling should be able to be picked up in one trip while being manned by two people.
"You eliminate the trips to the recycling center up the hill. (There's a lot of) going back and forth. We'll be able to compact the recycling in the trash truck, which will cut down on trips," Vest said. "You load it, you pack it and it'll be one trip and that will be the end of it. It won't be five, six, eight trips to the recycling center to unload."
Mayoral aide Bob Cooke said the decision to go with Rumpke was, in large part, due to its multi-million dollar recycling facility in Cincinnati.
"We saw that they probably could handle a lot more stuff. We thought it would put us further along in trying to encourage a recycling program locally," Cooke said.
The city will pay $400 a month for a new compactor and $237.50 for each box or $475 for a full load of recyclable boxes.
The rates listed in the contract will remain unchanged from April 1 until March 31, 2016. At that time, rates can be increased no more than 3 percent a year.
The city's contract went into effect April 1 and will expire March 31, 2020.
Vest said pickup will remain on the same schedule as the current program, which is the first and third weeks of the month.
Under the new program, plastic bags, plastic foam products, shoes, rags and clothing will no longer be accepted.