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Eugene's next in line for Sanipac roll carts.

Byline: Scott Maben The Register-Guard

Springfield residents are receiving Sanipac's new recycling roll carts, and the company's Eugene customers are next in line for what's billed as a simpler way to recycle.

The blue, 90-gallon roll carts - a bit larger than the yard waste carts used in Eugene - replace Sanipac's curbside bins. All of the accepted recyclable materials, except glass, may be tossed together in the new carts.

Customers should keep their old recycling bins and use them for setting out bottles and jars, which still must be separated from other recyclables.

Sanipac expects it will take seven to eight weeks to deliver the 43,000 carts it ordered. Collections using the new containers will begin in late December and early January.

The carts formally usher in commingled recycling, which does away with the need to sort and flatten cardboard, tin, plastic and paper materials. The goal is to make recycling more convenient for customers and less expensive for haulers such as Sanipac.

The mixed loads of recyclables are compacted and trucked to a Portland plant to be sorted and distributed to manufacturers.

Sanipac knows not everyone is keen on the new carts, especially if they're not sure where to put them.

"I'd like to see people give it a try," General Manager John Hire said. "I really think it's going to be best for them and the environment."

Commingling typically leads to an increase in recycling, extending the life of landfills. And the roll carts can be collected faster than curbside bins, which keeps Sanipac's costs down and reduces the need for rate increases.

Switching to collections every other week means fewer trucks on the road and less noise and air pollution.

The new system has other advantages, Hire said. The capacity of the carts translates to fewer trips to the curb for customers. Some households may need to put out recyclables only once every month or two.

The lids keep paper and plastics from blowing down the street, and the automated pickup is expected to reduce worker injuries.

The carts also eliminate most of the work involved with recycling. Throwing it into the recycling cart is now as easy as throwing it into the garbage, Hire said.

Plastic and metal food containers still must be rinsed, but then they can be tossed into the cart with newspapers, magazines, junk mail, cardboard, egg cartons and paper bags.

Each cart delivered to a residence comes with a packet explaining the new recycling process. Customers also will receive a collection schedule and map.

Recyclables still will be collected on garbage days but will switch to every other week.

In Eugene, Sanipac will alternate each week between recycling and yard waste collections. Springfield has no yard waste collection, but recycling there still will be every other week.

To help customers remember which is the week to set out their recyclables, Sanipac has split both cities in two and assigned a color to each half. East Springfield and south Eugene are green, and the recycling carts will be picked up beginning the week of Dec. 29. West Springfield and north Eugene are blue, with the service to start in those areas the week of Jan. 5.

Sanipac serves about 80 percent of residential customers in Eugene. It's the only hauler serving Springfield.

Lane Apex Disposal offers its customers the option of choosing to switch from a recycling bin to a 65-gallon cart. So far, about 300 customers have requested a cart, co-owner Sam Miller said.
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Title Annotation:The 90-gallon recycling containers will replace the old curbside bins; Environment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 30, 2003
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