LJWorld Green

Major Midwest trash company making push into Lawrence with weekly curbside recycling pickups

Deffenbaugh offering weekly service to coincide with city trash service for an additional fee

Giant bales of paper at the Deffenbaugh Industries facility in Kansas City, Kan., are loaded on trailer containers that will eventually be transported to China. Deffenbaugh has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

Giant bales of paper at the Deffenbaugh Industries facility in Kansas City, Kan., are loaded on trailer containers that will eventually be transported to China. Deffenbaugh has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

February 19, 2010

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Curbside recycling to get new look

Curbside recycling in Lawrence is about to get a different look. The largest recycling company in the Midwest is taking charge of the operation. The recycled materials are collected and sold to other countries. Enlarge video

On the street

Would you be willing to pay for a private curbside recycling service?

Yes, I would, because I have a hard time taking stuff to the recycling center … I wouldn’t want to pay an exorbitant amount.

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A front loader pushes giant mounds of residential curbside material on Friday after being unloaded at the Kansas City, Kan. facility. Deffenbaugh Industries has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

A front loader pushes giant mounds of residential curbside material on Friday after being unloaded at the Kansas City, Kan. facility. Deffenbaugh Industries has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

Giant mounds of residential recycling material is piled up after being unloaded at the Kansas City, Kan., Deffenbaugh Industries facility.

Giant mounds of residential recycling material is piled up after being unloaded at the Kansas City, Kan., Deffenbaugh Industries facility.

A worker sweeps loose paper near a wall of bundled bales of paper material at the Kansas City, Kan., recycling facility. Deffenbaugh Industries has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

A worker sweeps loose paper near a wall of bundled bales of paper material at the Kansas City, Kan., recycling facility. Deffenbaugh Industries has announced that they will offer weekly curbside recycling for Lawrence residents. Just a couple of weeks after the city commission said it was going to leave curbside recycling to private haulers, the largest recycling company in the region is jumping into the Lawrence market.

Less than a month after city commissioners said they were content to leave the future of curbside recycling to private industry, the largest recycler in the Midwest has announced plans for an aggressive program in Lawrence.

Kansas City, Kan.-based Deffenbaugh Industries announced Friday that it will begin offering a weekly curbside recycling program for $4.95 per month, and will not require customers to do any sorting of their recyclable materials.

“We’re going to come in here with a single-stream system, which means we’re going to provide a 65-gallon cart, pick it up on the same day of their trash service, and we’ll do all the sorting here at our plant,” said Tom Coffman, senior vice president with Deffenbaugh.

The program is scheduled to begin on March 16. The system will allow customers to recycle most common items — Nos. 1-7 plastics, aluminum, cardboard, chipboard, steel cans, newspapers, catalogs, and mixed office paper — but not glass.

The $4.95 per month rate — which does not require a contract — is less than half of what other private curbside companies in Lawrence are charging for weekly pickup. That has representatives with some of the five private companies operating in Lawrence wondering whether Deffenbaugh’s program is part of a longer-term strategy to convince the city to let it operate the municipally run trash service.

“The only thing I can see is that they ultimately want to start picking up the city’s trash, too,” said Traci Trent, an owner of Tree Hugger Recycling. “We’ll keep on trying to make our business work, but we’re so small and they are so big. I think this will cause more people to recycle, and that is great. But it does have a little bit of a sting to it.”

Lawrence will be the only city that Deffenbaugh offers a curbside recycling program in without also providing trash service. But Coffman said Deffenbaugh hasn’t had discussions with the city about taking over the trash service.

“That would have to be something generated by the city,” Coffman said. “From everything we know, the city does a great job of hauling residential trash.”

City Commissioner Mike Dever said he was pleased to see more activity in the Lawrence market. He said Lawrence likely was benefiting from the fact Deffenbaugh already has invested in a multimillion-dollar sorting facility for its recylables. The $4.95 per month cost is significantly less than what the city estimated it could provide a service for.

The facility, in Wyandotte County near the Kansas River, sorts and bundles the recyclables and then sells them to manufacturers across the world. Coffman said much of the material is sold to China, where it is used in everything from containers to clothes.

The new curbside service — like the others — is completely voluntary. But Coffman said he expects the service will help the city increase its recycling rate.

“Our experience has been that when you have an effective single-stream system available, your volume of recyclables just goes through the roof,” Coffman said.

Comments

John Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

Hit the nail on the head there - Deffenbaugh will prove how much better they can do it than the city..... I'm not saying they can only that they will.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

This is a "Walmart" style tactic. They'll lose money on this, but you can bet that this is just the start of a campaign to take over all trash collection, and if they do, watch the service tank and the cost to go up.

Graczyk 5 years, 1 month ago

But not glass? That's most of my recycling. Maybe I better switch to canned beer. ...Nah.

RoeDapple 5 years, 1 month ago

Ask Jonathan Kealing

♣Free The Blog♣

ashmole 5 years, 1 month ago

If only Deffenbaugh Industries could take over Eagle Bend now too.

LadyJ 5 years, 1 month ago

Jane, hold down Alt key, then hit the 5 key, then release Alt key. Try the other numbers and combination of numbers.

♣Free the Blog♣

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Sounds great. I understand the decision not to collect glass. It is a problematic material, I personally hate the company and dread them getting a hold in Lawrence. I think recycling and reduction is necessary and a responsible action. We should recycle and curbside makes sense both economically and environmentally. I hate the company. I hate the company.

delta77 5 years, 1 month ago

Where do I sign up? I'm sorry for the small recycling haulers, but this is awesome news for Lawrence! It's not the cost so much as the "no-sort" idea.

If people don't have to sort, they can just have "garbage" and "recycling" bins, rather than having multiple boxes and bags taking up space. And the decision process is less confusing for the less committed - "throw it in the garbage" or "throw it in the recycling." People (including my roommates) are just not dedicated enough to sort things, and as a results lots more garbage is created.

I can hear you guys already, but save it - this is just a fact of American society currently and it's more effective to make it easier for folks than to change minds!

We had a system like this in Minnesota when I lived there, and it was great.

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

I would assume an escalating cost, on many levels from this company. I also think there is no way that our 'city would choose a more difficult path. We will take the deal that is too good to be true.

gccs14r 5 years, 1 month ago

I have a hard time believing that the city can't do this for $5 per month. They're already paying the trash guys to not work and we already own the trucks, so sending them back around to get recycling would just cost some diesel fuel. What to do with the recycling once it's collected remains to be answered, though.

I don't like giant companies moving into a town and killing local industry, but it's worse when they aren't even full service.

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

$4.95/month with no contract and no sorting? Sign me up. If they start raising prices to the point it becomes too expensive, I'll cancel the service.

Robert Rauktis 5 years, 1 month ago

The profits of recycling are absolutely dependent on the robustness of the economy. Like any comodity, if the economy is stagnate, even gold sits in a warehouse. But the Chinese can recycle this junk for Walmart.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

When did the city approve this mechanism?

Did_I_say_that has an appropriate question...

What exactly does city hall have on its' mind?

How about some details?

Keith 5 years, 1 month ago

"merrill (anonymous) says... When did the city approve this mechanism? Did_I_say_that has an appropriate question... What exactly does city hall have on its' mind? How about some details?"

Why would the city have to approve this, it's just another private industry doing recycling. As for details, call Deffenbaugh, I'm sure they'd be glad to fill you in.

justsaying 5 years, 1 month ago

Did I miss contact info on this article? It would be nice if LJ World would provide information such as this when they are reporting on new services/companies. A web link would be very good.
Thx-

conservative 5 years, 1 month ago

How will the 4.95 be billed? Can it be tacked onto the water bill? Or would this be one more check to write each month?

Lee Eldridge 5 years, 1 month ago

It's amazing you guys can find complaint in this. This is why capitalism works. Government can NOT do these things as efficiently or cost effectively as private business. This is great news for Lawrence and for anybody concerned about the environment. I already recycle and will continue to do so. But for less than $5 per month, many in Lawrence who do not currently recycle will start.

And if they can do the city trash collection for less money, and do as good of job, why wouldn't we do that too?

BTW -- Our trash guys do a great job. I'm not promoting that they be put out of jobs.

sourpuss 5 years, 1 month ago

The city of Lawrence could be on the forefront of the new "Green" (I'll put it in quotes because it isn't really necessarily good for the environment) revolution. The city could build a world-class recycling plant. NOT a center, a plant, such as they have in Europe, and instead of coal-fired, build a trash-fired power plant.

The city picks up all garbage and it all goes to the plant. All recyclables are pulled out, organics are pulled out, and the rest is incinerated. What cannot be burned or reused goes to the landfill. This would create jobs and power. The recyclables could be sold off to off-set some of the expense. The mulch could be sold-off or used in city parks. The jobs would go through sanitation services. We would put it near the interstate and we could process all sorts of trash. Bring it in, send out the recyclables.

I am glad a private company is trying to step in, but I'm not sure if people will bother. I don't know why recycling is even a choice. Just pick up everything people don't want and sort through it. Why should the city put what is essentially money in the landfill? I hope this company does great business.

Steve Bradt 5 years, 1 month ago

parrothead8 (anonymous) says... $4.95/month with no contract and no sorting? Sign me up. If they start raising prices to the point it becomes too expensive, I'll cancel the service.

Just don't expect the small recyclers who serve us now (and take glass) to be around by the time that happens. We'll be back to schlepping it off to mallwart.

Angela Heili 5 years, 1 month ago

JustSaying:

I agree. And while Did_I_say_that, I'm sure in his/her own twisted way, was trying to be helpful and post the link to deffenbaugh industries along with his/her little tutorial, there is no information on their website about Lawrence Services. I would think, eventually, they will include said information so we can sign up for the service. Maybe it's still in the planning stage.

funkdog1 5 years, 1 month ago

Took a tour last year of the Wal-Mart recycling center and they told us that Deffenbaugh has this really fancy automatic sorting machine. There are blowers that blow off the paper, and magnets to pick out the steel and electronic eyes to pick out other things. That's how they do single-stream recycling.

Ace_Ventura 5 years, 1 month ago

I am not paying to recycle. just stupid. On top of that I shouldnt have to pay for trash. My girlfriend and I only fill one trash bag of trash ever other week. So they only pick up our trash every other week. Its BS I have to pay full price when I don't even have enough trash to be picked up.

We recycle pretty much everything we can. But its worth me driving to wal-mart or the recycle stations to drop it off myself.

I would like to have a contest with topeka. Which is where I work. Who can recycle to most. I know we would come up with the most. But, topeka would win if they just walked around on the streets and picked up the crap that everybody would throw out.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

From an environmental standpoint, I would like to see an analysis that includes the resources needed to drive and operate the trucks, as well as the fancy sorting machines.

I'm sure that cuts into the environmental benefits of recycling, but I'd like to know by how much.

Steve Miller 5 years, 1 month ago

You all got it, DDS is on it's way in, give it some time, a year from now your trash will be picked up by DDS.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 1 month ago

Fantastic. This is exactly how it should work. A company has found a market niche and has decided to try to serve a need. It's hilarious that people in Lawrence can still find a reason to complain. I, too, have noticed that the Richard Heckler style faux progressives are absent.

greenquarter 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, this is good news for our family's finances, but we currently use Sunflower Curbside and I'll feel guilty for taking my business elsewhere. But we have to look out for our family too, and every dollar counts ... I sure hope this encourages people to recycle. It kills me to see chipboard, cans, and bottles at the curb every week with regular trash, and two-people households on our block put out 3-4x the trash our four-person household does (6 or so bags vs. our 1-2 thirteen-gallon bags).

alm77 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow. 5 bucks a month is cheap. Until the competition is run out of business...

Sharon Aikins 5 years, 1 month ago

Since, as an apartment renter, I already pay twice for solid waste removal, how much will it cost me and how will I provide my recyclables to be picked up? Now instead of ~$14 a month I pay for trash pickup after having to haul my trash about a block to my complexes' dumpsters and adding to that what my landlord adds to my rent for having those dumpsters emptied by the city, I get to pay another $5/ month? How will they handle pickups in apartment complexes? Will we have to take it to the dumpsters here so we can pay twice again, once to the company and again to the landlord? Or can we, as apartment renters, just forget about recycling?

All that said, I think it's a great idea. The idea of not having to sort is mind boggling. When I did recycle I had about 8-10 different bins in my garage and it started attracting bugs I didn't want. Then there were the trips to Walmart with a car full of trash, phew. I don't care how much one rinsed the cans and bottles (a waste of lots of water), it still stunk. And the price seems fair, especially with no contract.

Bridgett Wagner 5 years, 1 month ago

This is fantastic news. Got single-stream in Austin a few months before we moved our family back here to Lawrence and it was SO nice. In Austin, it was provided for "free" by the city and they dropped huge blue bins at every residence and picked it up on the same days as regular garbage. I will pay 5 bucks a month for this, in a heartbeat. This is the kind of service I figured we would NEVER see in Lawrence. And if I'm willing to do it, mark my words: the recycling rates in this town are going to go up. I don't want to be insensitive to the local companies who are going to be hurt by this...I think that sucks, but single-stream recycling is a REALLY good thing - I guarantee you that a lot of people who wouldn't normally recycle will start if they don't have to sort.

kappyblu 5 years, 1 month ago

I am excited for this and will definitely be a customer! It would be nice to have it tacked onto my water bill, but I am more than willing to pay separately. They provide the can and pick it up on my trash day, I don't have to sort...awesome!

kansasplains 5 years, 1 month ago

The question is: how good is the recycling process? Have you seen videos of children and women in China who do this kind of thing? Who is not to say that this stuff will end up in Africa, or in other places, and what will happen to it? Lawrence

PosseComitatus 5 years, 1 month ago

Deffenbaugh's sorting plant is located at K32 and I-435. There is quite a bit of automation there, but there is also quite a bit of man power at each picking station. If you can imagine a dumping area where the trash trucks dump their load into a tapered area that feeds into an elevated conveyor system. The entire combined stream via this 3 story high conveyor goes through each pick station where one stream is pulled out at a time ,such as aluminum cans, and dropped into a processing line below the pick station.

Yes it's dirty and it stinks, but it's no worse than the landfill north of town.

Once you see an operation like this you wonder why all trash isn't handled in this manor before it is just buried.

$5 a month is a bargain for this service.

Danimal 5 years, 1 month ago

Does it bother anyone else that we send all of our recyclables to China for recycling? I think it's pretty sad that in the 21st century the United States leading exports are recyclables that smarter countries will make into something new and sell back to us at a premium. And what's the point in recycling if you have to ship it half way around the world to do so? Wouldn't it just be easier to recycle here? I guess I keep forgetting that we slaughtered all of our industry in America with high taxes, strict environmental controls and lax trade laws. If people are wondering why this is the "jobless recovery" (meaning not a real recovery for anyone outside of Wall St.) this is a perfect example. I guess most people see a basement bargain curbside recycling service, I see it as the manifestation of everything we've done wrong in the US in the last 30 years. So make sure to sign up and send some more real work overseas while our "idea & service-based" economy crumbles under poor regulation as well as a massive trade deficit and debt load.

wysiwyg69 5 years, 1 month ago

send china mega loads of dirty diapers

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

$4.95 a month is not near enough for me to take out the garbage twice. They'll need to pay me at least $30 a month.

Kip Patzel 5 years, 1 month ago

Where do I sign up? This is a huge bargin at $4.95 a month with no sorting!!! If you watched the super bowl there was a show called undercover boss that was on after it. That night it was waste management and they showed workers working at one of these sorting plants it truely is amazing I am sure it stinks but it is a great idea, there must be a market out there for recycling if a company is willing to spend $$ for the setup and a equipment.

I am 100% for this service and what it provides our community for the low cost. I am equally for any recycling regardless of where it is,, versus the landfill.

once again where do I sign up..... I guess I will call on monday.

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

sbradt (anonymous) says... Just don't expect the small recyclers who serve us now (and take glass) to be around by the time that happens. We'll be back to schlepping it off to mallwart.

I don't expect anyone who charges more than twice what their competition does to be in business for all that long, so I'm okay with this.

pittstate 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm going to stick with the recycling center where I take my recyclables. I don't see why people give away their aluminum and steel cans when there are at least two places in town that will pay you for them. I'm out and about running errands on Saturday mornings anyway, so when I have a load of cans I go by the recycling place and usually ger a buck and change. The buck and change go to a jar and when its full, the contents go to the bank.

Angela Heili 5 years, 1 month ago

Did_I_say_that (anonymous) says...

Parrysmom (anonymous) says... "... Did_I_say_that, I'm sure in his/her own twisted way, was trying to be helpful and post the link to deffenbaugh industries ..."

Did Parrysmom get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? justsaying said, "A web link would be very good." I provided one. What is twisted about that?

Nope, not at all. The little comment on the link , "Was that so hard?", was really not necessary.
I'm sure Justsaying did the same thing I did and googled deffenbaugh industries to find that there is no information on their website about Lawrence recycling.

Enjoy your weekend!

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Danimal,

My thoughts as well.

In fact, if you add in the environmental costs of transporting the recyclables to China, and the costs of transporting back the various goods they sell to us using them, I'm sure the environmental benefits of recycling are greatly reduced.

The best way from an environmental standpoint would be to transport your own recyclables to the center while you're making a trip to that neighborhood for another reason, and for the recycling to be done nearby, and the recycled materials to be used locally.

All of the extra gas/pollution etc. involved with the transportation and processing of these materials reduces the environmental benefits.

I suppose that's why the slogan is "Reduce, reuse, and recycle".

Angela Heili 5 years, 1 month ago

Did_I_say_that (anonymous) says...

@ Parrysmom - I understand your concern; "Let me google that for you" added that. I think it is meant to be humorous. Here is their email in case you would like to complain to them: staff@lmgtfy.com

Thank you for the email but I'm not going to complain to them. I apologize if you didn't put that on there. Jumped the gun to defend someone whom I thought was being targeted by another insensitive poster. There is a lot of that on here. Someone has a legitimate question and instead of just answering their question, a fellow poster nails them to the wall. So again, I apologize. Here is the link to deffenbaugh in case you, like me, want to sign up and will continue to check for a sign up link on their site for recycling services.

http://www.deffenbaughindustries.com/

Stay safe and warm!!

justtired 5 years, 1 month ago

everybody thinks 4.95 a month is great, but that will change when you consider how far they have to haul and their operating cost. unless they consider lawrence a tax write off and what do you think that will be for the service they provide. keep the jobs local and if you dont want to pay drop it off yourself and it is free, and some items, they pay you. it doesnt take a genius to figure out that you pay for enough thing as it is, why pay to recycle when you can do it for free. as for the city, the recycling they provide is free. Anyone who has had deffenbaugh knows that for trash you pay alot more than you would with the city and you pay for anything extra than two bags or two cans.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 1 month ago

All, You can sign up for recycling services via their "Request a quote" feature. Here's a link:

http://www.deffenbaughinc.com/residential_quote.asp

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

educatedintheusa 5 years, 1 month ago

The rural Missouri community I lived in before Lawrence provided recycling bins and picked up unsorted recyclables on garbage day. We were limited to one large city provided container for our nonrecyclables and for half the price could have a half size garbage can instead of the large one. City codes did not allow garbage cans to sit out past the garbage day, nor was garbage allowed to sit around on the ground in yards. This system naturally supported reduce, reuse, and recycle.

paisley 5 years, 1 month ago

@blue73harley I was wondering the same thing regarding the landfill. Question. Maybe the city should consider doing this and employ some of the folks that are out of work. Oh wait, that almost makes sense. (is that the correct spelling?)

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