We are just more than a month into our newly implemented semi-automated solid waste collection and single stream recycling program. Our crews appreciate your patience and participation in this change of service.
While it is still very early, we have some good news to report. The quantity we are recycling in Yankton has dramatically increased. In 2016, during the month of May, we collected 16 tons of curbside recycling using the old system. This year, in the month of May, we collected 64 tons of curbside recycling. Again, while this is preliminary, it can be inferred that the convenience of single-stream recycling has encouraged people to recycle who had not done so previously and likely has resulted in those who already recycled, to recycle more products. More recycling means less waste product in the landfill and a longer life for our landfill cells.
This new system is slightly different and requires us to learn a new thought process. Millennium Recycling Solutions in Sioux Falls is handling our recycling product and sets forth what material it will accept. For example, we no longer are required to look at the numbers on the bottoms of plastic containers to determine if they are recyclable. If the plastic is a tub, jug or bottle, it goes into the single-stream cart. The easiest way to learn about our new program is to watch the how-to video. http://www.cityofyankton.org/promo.
The video has been a popular resource and already has more than 15,000 views on Facebook. You can also refer to the website for more information and copies of the publications included with your roll cart: http://www.cityofyankton.org/singlestream. If you are still unsure about whether an item belongs in the recycling cart, you are encouraged to go by the rule, “When in doubt, leave it out.” As always, you can call Mary Robb at 668-5211 who can help answer questions about single-stream recycling and our solid waste program.
We have also received feedback about the tags some people have received on their carts. These are notes to help guide customers when our haulers see products that do not belong in their recycling. If you receive a colored tag on one of your carts, please know they are reminders and are not to be viewed as violations. We also realize that people with limited mobility may need assistance with their roll cart. We have options to consider and are here to help people who need assistance or are looking for alternatives.
We have also heard that some people have more single-stream product than they anticipated and their cart fills before their pick-up date. We accept single-stream at the Transfer Station during normal hours of operation as well as after hours at the east-side entrance near the after-hours grass and yard waste drop-off.
I appreciate all of the questions and feedback we have received over the past month. Change can be challenging and we are all learning this new system. During the next months, we will be evaluating the process, learning from our shared experiences and, if necessary, making modifications that improve efficiencies and convenience.