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Gering to roll out recycling program
January 26, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
GERING - Starting April 1, the City of Gering is launching a pilot program to see if there’s demand for a single- stream recycling program.

Single-stream means residents no longer have to sort recyclable materials – just put them all in the blue cart for the city to pick up.

Gering Director of Environmental Services Rick Hurt said he wants to see if there’s demand from the public to eventually make the program permanent.

“We’ll bale the recyclable materials just like we do with the solid waste,” Hurt said. “But instead of going into the landfill, the recyclables are stored in a trailer and picked up by the recycler.”
Hurt said the city is partnering with Waste Management in Denver to pick up the recyclable materials. During the pilot program, the city will not be charged for transportation costs.

“Once the recyclable materials are sorted and transportation costs deducted, we might even get a rebate,” Hurt said.

Gering is purchasing 100 blue trash containers designated for recyclable materials. They will be distributed on a first-come basis for people who want to recycle. The pilot program will be on a subscription basis, costing the resident four dollars a month, which is added to monthly utility bills. Hurt said the four dollar fee offsets the cost of the blue containers and transportation costs back to the landfill.

“People don’t have to sort their recyclables,” Hurt said. “They just put all the material in one bin and roll it out for the city to pick up. Collection will be twice a month, on second and fourth Thursdays.”

As the program grows, pick up could be expanded to the other two Thursdays and two routes on Tuesdays – enough to meet the need if everyone requests the service.

The program will collect most recyclables, excluding glass, Styrofoam and plastic bags. Acceptable materials include junk mail, office and school paper, aluminum foil and trays, cardboard, food boxes, newspapers, brown paper bags, steel and aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers, and phone books and catalogs.

“Transportation has always been a big hurdle for us in getting a recycling program established,” Hurt said. “I’m hoping this is successful enough where we’ll be buying more blue containers because of the demand.”

He added the recyclable drop boxes have served the city well, but now residents don’t have to take their recyclables to the drop off point.

Gering residents interested in participating should call (308) 436-7568 for information.
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