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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City now strongly considering adding glass to proposed curbside recycling program

February 8, 2013

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On the street

Do you think the city of Lawrence should include glass pickup in its curbside recycling program?

I would say definitely. My family uses Deffenbaugh. I love the service, but they don’t take glass.

More responses

It is now looking more likely that glass may be a part of a new citywide curbside recycling program under consideration by city officials.

Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday will consider opening negotiations with Perry-based Hamm Companies to build a new multimillion dollar recycling processing center outside of North Lawrence. Hamm officials have said the center could be built to accommodate glass recycling.

And city commissioners are showing renewed interest in the idea of having glass be among the items accepted under a new curbside program.

“There is an awful lot of glass that is being thrown away right now,” City Commissioner Hugh Carter said. “If we could include glass in a program, that would be ideal.”

In the past, City Commissioner Aron Cromwell, who chaired the city’s solid waste task force, had expressed concern about including glass as part of a curbside program. He had concerns glass would contaminate the other recycling materials and cause more of the materials to ultimately go to a landfill.

But Cromwell on Friday said he’s seeing new information that leads him to believe glass can be feasibly incorporated into the program.

“It does appear that there is technology available to better sort the glass without creating contamination,” Cromwell said. “That has helped me become a lot more comfortable with the idea.”

Mayor Bob Schumm last month said at a commission meeting that he hoped the city would seriously consider ways to include glass in the program.

Now, the question becomes how much it will cost residents to have glass as part of the program. New figures from vendors estimate that adding glass will add 25 cents to 70 cents per month to the recycling program’s cost, if the city operates the recycling program on an every-other-week basis. The city had once talked about a weekly service but as cost estimates have emerged, the focus has shifted to an every-other-week service.

Overall, the city is now estimating the city would charge between $2.81 and $3.78 per month to run a biweekly citywide curbside recycling service that included glass.

The final price will be dependent upon what company the city chooses to do business with.

Waste Management out of Topeka has offered the lowest price to recycle glass as part of a curbside program. It proposes to use its existing Topeka plant and would use Waste Management crews to collect the recycling. It estimates it could provide the service for a price between $2.81 to $3.22 per month that would be added onto the trash bills of every residential customer in the city.

But a city committee is recommending the commission consider a bid from Hamm Companies, although its projected monthly price is higher at $3.39 to $3.78.

Hamm’s proposal would build a new recycling processing center near the Douglas County-Leavenworth County line at the intersection of U.S. 24-40 Highway and Kansas Highway 32. The center would employ 15 to 20 people, Hamm officials have said. Hamm also is proposing that city of Lawrence employees would be responsible for collecting the recycling, just as city crews do with the trash service.

The impact of keeping more jobs based in Lawrence is an important one, commissioners said.

“We have really high satisfaction ratings with our trash service, and that is what we want with our recycling service too,” Carter said. “That’s why this can’t just be about selecting the lowest cost provider.”

If commissioners choose not to include glass in the program, a bid by Deffenbaugh Industries may come into play. Deffenbaugh, which has made a major push to become the recycling provider and already provides service to about 4,200 Lawrence residents, proposes to use its Kansas City recycling facility. It would use its own crews to collect the recycling. It proposes a price of $2.25 to $2.57 per month.

But Deffenbaugh’s recycling facility is unable to process glass, although Deffenbaugh has said it would work to bolster the city’s current glass recycling program that allows people to drop glass off at designated bins.

Cromwell helped start that system, which is run by Ripple Glass, but he said the city has to consider a curbside option.

“I really like what Ripple is doing, but if we can recycle three times as much glass through a curbside program, we have to look at that,” Cromwell said.

Some elements of the proposed citywide program haven’t changed. The city still is proposing a mandatory pay but voluntary usage system. That means all residential households will have a recycling fee added to their monthly trash bill, regardless of whether they use the system.

All recommendations also assume customers would be issued a 96-gallon plastic cart, which is a bit bigger than the city’s standard issue 65-gallon cart it uses for trash.

Commissioners will meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 5 months ago

Where is all the glass coming from? We dispose of, maybe, one glass pickle jar a month. I think I know the answer, but must ask: What consumables do you use that requires glass disposal?

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rlmtyco 1 year, 5 months ago

BEER. this town produces TONS of glass, go look in any dumpsters downtown, college areas of towns, dumpsters at apartment complexes, etc.

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momof4 1 year, 5 months ago

Salsa, jelly, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, horseradish sauce, Tabasco sauce, the hot peppers, BBQ sauce, and wing sauce my husband likes come in glass jars. Spaghetti and pasta sauce, some salad dressings, not to mention the occasional beer, liquor and wine bottles. Glass is not the biggest item we recycle, but our family definitely has a need for glass recycling.

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desertrose 1 year, 5 months ago

If one jar takes a million years to break down and a million people throw 1 jar away a week or month, it can add up quickly and stay there for along time.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 5 months ago

It takes me more than a year to even fill one bag with enough glass to make it worth the trip to one of the free recycling locations. Bars and restaurants however have massive amounts of recyclable glass everyday. Maybe that's why Schumm supports it.

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Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

“We have really high satisfaction ratings with our trash service, and that is what we want with our recycling service too,” Carter said. “That’s why this can’t just be about selecting the lowest cost provider.”


You did have really high satisfaction ratings until you decided to force everyone to use the city's carts and pay for something they did not need.

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NickDanger 1 year, 5 months ago

I support all recycling efforts. Happy to pay the nominal fee.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

i agree about the cart size. However, my family is moving away from canned goods (because of BPA) and glass is the alternative. Glass does add up. Would love curb side recycle.

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peartree 1 year, 5 months ago

We too use more glass and fewer cans to avoid the plastic lining. It really does add up in a household with more than a person or two. To the people who recycle now by taking it in yourself and are angry that they will have to pay now, I'd suggest as responsible, concerned people perhaps you would see the benefit to the environment if recycling were made universal in Lawrence. I know it will be a pain to pay a fee and keep a cart, but this effort will prevent a huge amount of trash and pollution. It is of course a personal sacrifice, but it has great rewards.

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kuguardgrl13 1 year, 5 months ago

"What's preventing people from throwing their recyclables in with the garbage?"

It adds to landfill. If plastic bottles and aluminum cans aren't recycled, then Coke, Pepsi, and other soda companies produce more so they can continue to use their products. If the containers are continually recycled, I'm sure a certain amount is lost in the process, but at least some is able to be used again. If you throw it away it's gone forever. Those of us in Gen Y were taught this as small children. Many of us have grown up in the suburbs of a number of cities where curbside recycling has been around since the 90s or earlier. If Lawrence wants to fill up these empty apartments and eventually the houses, they will attract young people by having a recycling system that doesn't require filling up your car and wasting the gas to drive to Walmart.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 5 months ago

This is what happens when you let government get to big. There is someone down at city hall that does not have enough to do and feels the need to justify their job. This type of thing happens over and over to us. No one is against recycling, but we already have the program in place provided by the private sector. What are these taxpayers going to do when an activity that only consumes tax dollars competes with them and puts them out of business? If they want people to recycle glass, then make set up places to buy it from the consumers like they do with cans, otherwise leave it alone.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

I still want Sunflower curbside to pick our recycling up.....

The city can still do their thing which I support.

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skinny 1 year, 5 months ago

I see a class action lawsuit coming!!

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alfie 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't mind the recycling, but "can" the large "can" idea.

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snitty 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm delighted that Lawrence is finally getting serious about recycling. May I suggest that you hold off on issuing more containers. Most people still have their old trash cans, and there is a big disparity in the amount of trash that each household produces.

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Topple 1 year, 5 months ago

Why is no one proposing different can sizes? I don't need, or have room for a 96-gallon recycling container.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 5 months ago

http://lawrenceks.org/wrr/carts 35, 65, 95 gallon. "...residents who wish to receive a larger or smaller cart can call the Solid Waste Division at (785) 832-3032 or fill out an online form for an exchange."

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jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think that applies to the recycling program, at least as currently proposed.

They're planning to issue everybody the largest size container for recycling.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 5 months ago

"All recommendations also assume customers would be issued a 96-gallon plastic cart..." Which would be silly because they would either have to devise a way to compartmentalize it or pay people to sort it.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 1 year, 5 months ago

Well ok take glass don't take glass what ever it still not right to force people. For anyone who does not know that liquor store on mass next to dillons has a container just for glass.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 5 months ago

I am tired of people who think they have a right to consume, consume, consume, but not recycle. Yes, I feel sorry for those who already recycle, and want to keep doing it their way, but I'm tired of seeing people dump TV's, computers, cans, bottles, plastic. There is only so much room in the landfills. Can we dig up your back yard to put some in? Geez. It's not that hard. And the city program will make it even easier at a measly cost. I have grandchildren and in the next few years will probably have great grandchildren. I do not want them to live on top of your stupid, selfish trash heap. Sorry the carts offend your aesthetic sensibility. I'm sure that you are one of those people who pour chemicals on lawns, so you can grow grass that is not native to Kansas, and waste water keeping it alive, so you can mow it down. Why not get off you duff and grow some food on that lawn, and recycle. I'll bet you could get enough exercise you could drop that gym membership, and actually save money.

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Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

If they are that stupid, lazy and selfish making them pay for recycling is not going to change that behavior.

And since you feel sorry for me since I already recycle for free and do not wish to be forced into paying for something I will not use, I will send you the bill for the increased fees and you can pay for it. It is the least you can do since I already exhibit the behavior you wish to force on everyone else and I have been doing it without being forced to.

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waitjustaminute 1 year, 5 months ago

The City has no business being in the recycling business.

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Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

Why does the city want to deprive the schools money and deprive the disabled jobs?

If the city is going to force everyone to use their services then the schools will lose the money they get from their recycle bins they provide.

If the city is going to force everyone to use their services then the Walmart recycle center will no longer need folks from CLO to work there.

And what is the city going to do when the price of recycling exceeds the price received for the recycled materials like in 2009? http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/jun...

"But Kathy Richardson, the city’s operations supervisor for waste reduction and recycling, confirmed that the market for at least four materials the city collects — corrugated cardboard, newspapers, office paper and mixed paper — remains down.

Through the first five months of this year, she said, the city had generated $35,000 in revenue from such materials. For the same period a year ago — and for essentially the same amount collected — the city had received $112,000.

“That gives you a picture,” she said."

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breeav 1 year, 5 months ago

I have always recycled in Lawrence; I have used private recycling companies in the past and am currently running my own recycling. I am very excited to have a city-wide option because it's going to be much cheaper than private options and will end up providing a more consistent service. When I take into consideration the gas I use to drive to a recycling facility (which is across town now that the east Lawrence recycling center is closed to the public), and the time that it takes me to sort and run recycling, I think I will end up saving time and money with this city wide option. I understand the concern for private companies going out of business, but really it will eliminate some jobs and create others in their place. As someone who believes in recycling, I think that it may take some adjustment but ultimately there will be fewer resources ending up in our landfills and that should be our main concern.

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Katara 1 year, 5 months ago

How much are you consuming if it takes you that much time to sort your recyclables?

Many of the schools have recycling bins. They get money for the recyclables. Why not take your recyclables to the closest school?

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sunny 1 year, 5 months ago

Its too bad the Commissioners don't focus on creating jobs in Lawrence. Instead they sit around and think of ways to force citizens to pay for something they don't want!

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Downtoearth 1 year, 5 months ago

Did not read all commets but I sure don't want to pay for recycling glass. I may have one or two jars of class containers a month. Most of our drinks/foods come in plastic. I do favor recycling plastic. Get real Hugh!!

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sunny 1 year, 5 months ago

This is almost the most absurd idea yet! Adding more to my City bill...do these commissioners not understand that there are no good paying jobs in Lawrence? They are nickel and diming me to death!

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desertrose 1 year, 5 months ago

I started to recycle my glass a couple years ago after I found out how many years it takes to break down in a landfill. 1 MILLION YEARS. If that means hauling it to a recycle place and doing that for the future of my kids & grandkids then I will continue to do it. I think it should be free or very affordable and made easier to recycle so that everyone can recycle. I also think alot of people are not aware of the environmental factor and this should be very important for everyone to do. I was unaware until recently that it takes... 200-500 years for aluminum cans 250 years for plastic cups 30-40 years for nylon fabric 10-20 years for plastic trash bags 5 years for plastic cups

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