|Local recycling pays off in the long run|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
The “Green Movement” has been sweeping the country, and the overflowing piles of paper, cardboard and plastic are certainly proof that Holyoke is doing its part to make northeast Colorado a little “greener.”
“Recycling is making a difference,” said city superintendent Mark Brown. “Every year it’s reducing more and more.”
The City of Holyoke will send an estimated total of 1,302.79 tons of trash to the landfill in 2011. This is down approximately 25 tons from the 1,328 tons in 2010, which was down 20 tons from the total in 2009.
This year’s total is under 2003’s trash total by a whopping 300 tons!
Paper recyclables seem to always fill up Holyoke’s big blue recycling bin very quickly, which isn’t surprising
Brown said recycling is affecting these numbers in addition to the environmentally-friendly packaging used in the last few years. Either way, less and less waste is being produced, he said.
Holyoke introduced a new recycling bin in October of last year. The large blue container, parked northwest of the city offices, takes aluminum and tin cans, #1 and #2 plastic, newspaper, magazines and office paper.
It does not take plastic bags, cardboard or styrofoam.
From November 2010 to September 2011, Holyoke recycled 15.66 tons of paper, 2.25 tons of plastic, 1.02 tons of tin and 0.31 tons of aluminum for nearly 20 tons of recyclable materials in less than a year!
Tammie Timm of Holyoke Recycles and former HHS students Marci Vasa and Heather Duester worked with Haxtun students and teacher Alan Nall to get the recycling bin with a grant funded by Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Fund.
Haxtun also has a bin, with one more as an extra when one of the containers needs to be emptied. U.S. Recycling in Ogallala, Neb. picks up the bins and disposes of the recyclable materials.
“It seems like they fill up faster and faster,” said Brown, who is in charge of making the call when the Holyoke bin is full. The two most popular materials, paper and plastic, fill up at about the same rate.
“Overall it’s been really good,” added Brown, noting people are fairly good about putting the correct materials in the appropriate slots.
Phillips County is great about recycling cardboard, taking in approximately 115 tons of cardboard this
Cardboard collection really adds up
Cardboard boxes are big, bulky items, so whenever they can be recycled, it really cuts down on waste.
“Cardboard recycling is doing very well,” said Phillips County landfill manager Bill Andrews. Both businesses and individuals have been utilizing the 10 cardboard trailers in Holyoke and the seven in Haxtun.
Andrews said the trailer located next to Holyoke’s recycling bin fills up especially fast, needing to be dumped almost twice a week.
“I really want to thank everyone for using the cardboard trailers as much as they have,” said Andrews.
So far in 2011, the county has recycled 115 tons of cardboard. At approximately $130 per ton, the cardboard made $15,000.
This money goes back into county funding to help with operating expenses. “It brings a fair amount of money back into the county,” said Andrews.
Landfill staff collect the trailers, which have been used for about five years, and take the cardboard to the landfill. There it is baled, and once enough is collected, it is ready to be shipped. The company that pays for the recycled cardboard sends out a truck for it to be picked up.
Andrews said anything that can be recycled will prolong the life of the landfill hole where Phillips County must put the trash that cannot be recycled.
“Anything that prolongs the life of the hole, the better,” he said, noting it’s quite expensive to dig a new one.
The county dug a hole seven years ago, around the same time they began compacting and baling the trash. Andrews said normally the hole would only last five years, but with the compacted trash, he’s hoping it will last another 15 years from now.
Holyoke Enterprise November 10, 2011