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Sanipac to take giant step with new recycling carts.

Byline: The Register-Guard

In Eugene, commingled recycling will ascend to the next level of convenience this year for households that use Sanipac as their hauler.

The company, which serves about 80 percent of city residences, plans to deliver 90-gallon recycling roll carts to its 43,000 customers starting in mid-October.

The carts, larger than the 65-gallon yard waste carts that debuted two years ago, will allow Sanipac to begin picking up recyclables using automated trucks by the end of December, General Manager John Hire said.

However, customers will be asked to keep their blue curbside recycling bins and use them to put out bottles and glass jars, which will continue to be picked up by hand. Glass that gets mixed with other recyclables inevitably breaks and gets stuck in cardboard and paper, triggering costly problems for paper mills.

Collections, which will switch to every other week, will become faster and easier and will reduce the number of trucks on city streets, Hire said.

Other advantages include reducing employee injuries from hand collections, keeping recyclables out of rain and wind, and making it easier for residents to put out their materials, he said.

"Our goal has been that the efficiency we gain in the system will pay for the equipment and material," said Hire, noting that each cart will cost the company about $40.

If there's a downside, he expects it will be customer reactions to receiving another cart on top of their garbage and yard waste containers. The size of the new, dark-blue recycling containers may pose a storage problem for some customers, and Sanipac and city officials are bracing for complaints.

"I anticipate with the large commingled cart, we're going to hear about that quite a bit," said Alex Cuyler, the city's solid waste and recycling analyst.

Lane Apex Disposal is using 65-gallon recycling carts and making their use optional for its Eugene customers, co-owner Sam Miller said.

"We don't want to shove another cart into everyone's hands," Miller said. "If somebody has a bin and wants to keep using it, we're going to keep doing it that way."

Hire said the footprint of the Sanipac cart is about the same as two curbside bins. Many people will find room for it where they've had their own sorting systems in their garages or on their porches, he said.

The carts are so big, he added, so people have room to toss in bulky items such as boxes without breaking them down, and so they can amass two weeks' worth of recyclables. Collections will take place on weeks when yard waste carts are not picked up.

All in all, Hire said, it's a handier way of disposing of recyclables. "I think in the past people made a choice as to how much stuff they want to recycle in a week," he said. "Now that it won't be this heavy, clumsy thing, I think it makes it pretty easy."

- Scott Maben


John Hire displays one of Sanipac's 90-gallon recycling roll carts that will allow customers to commingle their recyclables at the curb.
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Title Annotation:Customers will get 90-gallon receptacles to be picked up every other week; Environment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 2, 2003
Next Article:Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

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