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Archive for Saturday, January 4, 1992

CURBSIDE RECYCLING SERVICE RAISES ITS FEES

January 4, 1992

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The owners of Conservation Resources, Lawrence's only curbside recycling service, began the new year by raising its prices and limiting the recyclables it accepts at the curb.

Beginning Jan. 1, the price of residential curbside pickup was raised to $3.30 a month, a 30-cent increase, said Clair Domonoske, co-owner of Conservation Resources.

The service also stopped accepting plastic foam products, cardboard, bond paper and several kinds of plastics, he said.

The price increase and cut backs are not signs of financial trouble, Domonoske said, they're just signs of the the times.

"There were two reasons we raised our price," he said. "First, it was a cost of living increase."

The fee is what keeps Conservation Resources afloat, Domonoske said. It pays for the cost of operation, like billing, fliers, and new equipment to make the service more efficient.

HE AND HIS wife, Barbara, also plan to buy another truck for the service, and they recently bought a more efficient glass crusher, as well as a computer to help organize bookkeeping.

Domonoske and his wife began the residential curbside service in Lawrence in July 1990. Their clientele has grown to about 1,800 customers since then, Domonoske said.

Before Jan. 1, the service picked up tin and aluminum cans, scrap metal, glass, newspapers, computer paper, glossy magazines, paint, plastic foam, cardboard, bond paper and most kinds of plastics.

They had to trim the list of recyclables after the three Dillon supermarkets in Lawrence stopped accepting plastic foam, bond paper, cardboard and certain plastics brought in by Conservation Resources.

MANAGERS for the supermarkets told Domonoske they no longer had enough storage space for the recyclables, he said.

The Dillon recycling program is designed for customers, not commercial recyclers, said Ken Keefer, director of advertising and public relations for Dillon Stores Division.

"What began as a trickle became a trailer load," Keefer said. "The system that we have in place just can't work in those kinds of quantities."

Domonoske said Thursday that he was close to working out a deal with the managers of the Food Barn supermarket in Lawrence to accept the recyclables.

The manager for the store first must clear the deal with district management, Domonoske said.

Food Barn management could not be reached for comment Friday.

The price increase and change in service have not halted the growth of the service, Domonoske said.

OF ITS 1,800 customers, only seven or eight customers canceled the service after the price increase. Several more signed on later to make up for the loss, and then some.

"We're slowly growing. There hasn't been a month that we've gone backwards," he said.

Customers should anticipate another annual raise to compensate for "cost of living" at the end of 1992. "But I'm looking for it to be around a dime or a quarter," Domonoske said.

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