Marlow recycling program to begin next month

Posted in: News
By Todd Brooks
Apr 10, 2013 - 5:32:56 PM

JUST ARRIVEDEnvironmentally conscience residents who have been concerned by the lack of recycling options locally can now look forward to a city wide recycling program to begin next month.
Waste Management district manager Brad Hegwer told the Noon Lions Club last Wednesday the city’s new curbside recycling program is scheduled to begin on May 6.
According to Hegwer, up to 70 percent of waste residents throw away in their regular trash pickup has recyclables in them. “This will save money,” Hegwer said. “Every time we have to open a new section at the landfill, the cost goes up.”
The program will cost city residents an additional $5 per month on their city utility bill, but Hegwer said the program is capable of paying for itself with rewards for participants. The program, through a company called Recyclebank, awards points every time a household recycles points can be used toward discounts on groceries, entertainment, gift cards, and other items.
“Ironically, the number one recyclable we get is water bottles, and the number one reward people get are water bottles,” Hegwer said.
To participate, residents need to sign up for the Recyclebank account either online (www.recyclebank.com) or by calling a toll-free number (888-727-2978).
The more people recycle, the more they are rewarded as a group.
There is no opting out of the program for those who do not participate. Residents will be charged regardless of participation, and only those who recycle will be eligible for rewards.
The district manager said the program was implemented successfully in Chickasha last year.
“The percent of people who participate in Chickasha is 62 percent, which is first in the state,” Hegwer said.
Each residence will receive a special trash container for recyclables to go along with the current one used for trash.
Separate trucks will be used to pick up regular trash and recyclables.
The recyclables container contains a microchip. When the truck picks up the container, the chip is read as recyclable are collected. It will allow Waste Connections to collect participation data.
Recyclables will be picked up once every other week, while regular trash pickup will continue twice weekly.
Only residential houses are eligible for rewards. Recyclables from businesses will not count.
Marlow will be divided into two sections like regular trash pick up. The weight collected from each section of town will be tallied and points will be awarded to participating residents in each section of town.
The only sorting homeowners will have to do is separating recyclables from non-recyclables. Residents will not have to break down recyclables further by separating paper from plastic for example. It will all go into the one recycling bin.
Collected recyclables will be taken to Texas for processing.
“The rewards will be based on the weight of the trucks not what other sections of Marlow or the other cities do,” Hegwer said. “We would like to see some friendly competition between the sections to see who can recycle more, but it won’t have any bearing on the rewards.”
Marlow City Administrator Janice Cain said residents will not be charged the $5 fee until the program is operational.
A town hall meeting is expected later this month by Waste Connections to both inform and answer questions from the public. No date for the meeting has been set.