Starting July 2, Salisbury residents can recycle more items

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2012

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Theresa Pitner usually drives to the recycling center on Julian Road twice a month to recycle items Salisbury doesn’t take at the curb.
But starting July 2, Pitner can just walk out her back door in Fulton Heights and dump yogurt containers, aerosol cans, shredded paper and other previously unaccepted items in her new, 96-gallon rollout recycling cart.
“I’m very excited to put it all in one cart at the curb,” Pitner said. “And I love the fact that you can put your old recycling bins in there, as well as laundry baskets.”
Until now, only plastics numbered one and two could go in the bin. When the city’s new recycling contractor, Waste Pro, takes over next week, residents can recycle all plastics numbered one through seven.
Other new items you can recycle at the curb include:
• Wide-mouth plastic containers and lids, like sour cream and yogurt containers
• Empty aerosol cans, like hair spray and deodorant (not paint)
• Hard plastic bins, baskets and toys
• Juice boxes
• Coated plastic cartons, like soy milk
• Shredded paper in a clear plastic bag
• All colors of glass
• Plastic clamshell containers for berries
Lids can remain on all items, but everything needs to be thoroughly rinsed.
All previously accepted recyclables will go in the new cart as well, including aluminum cans, cereal and food boxes, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, junk mail, magazines, phone books, metal cans and glass.
There are still some items Waste Pro will not recycle, said Terri Masten, N.C. market development manager. Do not place styrofoam, foil, plastic bags or plastic wrap in the rollout carts. And, as always, pizza boxes are not recyclable.
Thanks to the convenience of rollout carts and a higher number of accepted items, recycling in Belmont, N.C. jumped by 234 percent after Waste Pro took over, Masten said. Residents there have recycled 1,100 tons in the past 11 months, compared to 300 tons in a 12-month period before Waste Pro, she said.
In Concord, recycling has increased by 64 percent.
The company is driven by customer service, she said.
“Our philosophy is, whatever it takes,” Masten said.
The 10-year-old company based in Florida also has recycling contracts in Denton, Bessemer City, Indian Trail and Monroe, as well as Buncombe County.
Waste Pro delivered the big blue carts throughout the city last week. Recycling pickup will switch from weekly to every other week, and residents should refer to the calendar magnet that came with the bin.
People on the blue schedule will recycle the week of July 2 on their regular garbage collection day. Those on the green schedule will recycle the week of July 9, also on their regular garbage day.
Recycling carts should be placed at the curb with the handle away from the street, so the automated Waste Pro truck can grab the cart, lift it and empty it.
The green garbage carts, however, should be placed at the curb with the handle facing the street. City sanitation workers need to pull the garbage cart to the truck.
Carts should be placed several feet apart, and the blue recycling carts should be clear of cars, shrubs, hydrants and anything else that might impede the automated truck.
Waste Pro, which had $400 million in revenue last year, will deliver the recyclables to the Sonoco transfer station, located in Salisbury. Sonoco then takes items to a processing plant in Charlotte.
Residents can keep their 14-gallon blue bins and continue to use them for recycling or other purposes. Those who no longer want the blue bins should put them inside the rollout cart to be, yes, recycled.
While the city and Waste Pro encourage residents to try the new carts for at least a month, residents who don’t like or don’t have room for the cart can call Waste Pro at 704-792-0800 to remove it and resume using their old blue bin.
Between 30 and 35 percent of Salisbury residents currently recycle, and city spokeswoman Elaney Hasselmann said she’s looking forward to watching that number increase.
“I hope this really encourages more people to recycle,” Hasselmann said.
The city has signed a $351,829 contract with a new company, Waste Pro of North Carolina Inc. Assistant City Manager John Sofley said the price tag is slightly less than the city currently pays.
The carts are included in the price, which covers one year of service with an option for two annual renewals. There is no fuel surcharge in the contract, Sofley said.
The city has paid as much as $4,000 in fuel charges with the current recycling contract, Sofley said.
The city will continue to offer backyard pickup for elderly or disabled residents. Anyone who wants to request the service can call the Solid Waste Department at 704-638-5256.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.