Owners of John's Sanitary Removal addressed the Silver Bay City Council's concerns about the recycling removal process Monday, April 15.
Owner Steve VanHouse explained how the company has been taking steps to make recycling more cost-effective. The biggest change has been the collection of recycling materials on the same day as garbage pickup.
"The intention was that the trucks would follow each other, but that's not always the case because it depends on the amount of garbage versus the amount of recycling," VanHouse said. "Sometimes, one gets ahead of each other. We've had calls from people saying, 'Hey, you picked up my garbage but forgot the recycling?' or vice versa. We haven't - it's just that they're not there quite yet."
The company has also started a trial of commingling recycling materials. It stopped baling the materials into individual material bales (such as combining all the plastics or just the aluminum cans) and now puts everything recyclable in together. This method is preferred by the company's recycling broker, Hartel's Disposal in Proctor. After arriving in Proctor, the materials are then shipped to the Twin Cities, where they are separated.
"They get cleaner bales of material that way. They get a higher-quality recycled material," VanHouse said.
However, he discouraged residents from totally commingling their recyclables because doesn't want people to get out of the habit.
"If the recycling market goes up, then it might become more cost-effective to separate everything out on our own, so we don't want to stop people from doing this on their own," VanHouse said. "We'd hate to say it's OK to combine everything, then need to come back and say, wait, take the cardboard out on its own."