| 2014 Q3 | story by KATHY RICHARDSON, SOLID WASTE MANAGER, CITY OF LAWRENCE |
The wait for city-wide, curbside recycling is almost over. Starting in October, the city’s Solid Waste Division will add curbside residential recycling collection to the list of services the division provides to the community. Since 1946, the Solid Waste Division has been the exclusive trash service provider for residential, commercial and institutional customers in Lawrence. The city has been active in developing waste reduction and recycling opportunities through a variety of private and public services since the early 1990s. The city’s first step to reducing the overall tons of material landfilled each year was implementing a weekly residential curbside collection service for yard waste in 1991.
Establishing a residential recycling collection service is another example of how the city continues to improve our integrated solid waste management system, a comprehensive waste prevention, recycling, composting and disposal program to effectively protect human health and the environment.
In February of 2012, the city’s Solid Waste Task Force produced a report, which set a goal of 50 percent recycling rate by volume by 2020 in Lawrence.
“One of the recommendations of the Solid Waste Task Force was to implement city-wide single-stream curbside recycling if fiscally prudent and sustainable,” said Daniel Poull, board member of the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board. “Establishing a curbside recycling program in Lawrence has also been a long-term goal of the Sustainability Advisory Board. This is a service that will have a positive impact in our community in so many ways.”
As the primary means to achieve the Solid Waste Task Force goal, the City Commission adopted an ordinance in April 2013 establishing a residential recycling collection service for single-family and multi-family dwellings. As required by state law, the city was not able to commence the collection service for 18 months from the adoption of the ordinance.
The launch date for the curbside recycling collection service for single-family and multi-family homes in Lawrence is Oct. 21. For single-family homes, permitted recyclable materials placed in the city-provided, 95-gallon blue recycling carts will be collected every-other-week on the same day as the residential customer’s trash day. Recycling dumpsters will be available at participating apartment complexes and other multi-family dwellings.
“Our citizens consistently tell us that our sanitation services are valuable and well-received,” said Mayor Mike Amyx. “Curbside recycling is yet another service we’ll be able offer that helps decrease our overall environmental impact and provides the community with an excellent service that enhances the quality of life in Lawrence.”
A detailed trash and recycling collection map is available on the city’s website at www.LawrenceRecycles.org. In addition, residents can sign up online at www.notify.lawrenceks.org to receive recycling service notifications via text or email and download their specific service calendar.
The recyclable materials collected through the residential single-stream recycling collection program will be dropped off at the Hamm Material Recovery Facility (MRF) approximately three miles from north Lawrence. This single-stream processing facility will receive, sort, process, store and transport recyclable materials dropped off by the city. The facility will also market, or sell, these materials to be recycled and reused for beneficial use.
“Hamm is proud to continue the successful public/private partnership that has existed with Hamm and the City of Lawrence for over 30 years,” said Charlie Sedlock, Hamm Waste Services Director. “The next step in this partnership is with the recycling program. Hamm will be processing and marketing the recyclable materials collected by the city. The Hamm Material Recovery Facility will have an economic impact by adding 15 new jobs to the Lawrence area, using local vendors, and maximizing use of local recyclable markets.”
The city is evaluating options for providing commercial recycling services to business customers in Lawrence in the future.
The city will provide detailed collection information as part of the implementation campaign in September and October. The city’s curbside recycling program is a single-stream system which allows all materials to be placed in one container instead of sorting by material type. ■