April 16, 2020
Recycling Contamination Causes Problems
Earlier this month the city announced changes to solid waste collection and cancellation of yard waste collection in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential customers were provided with alternative options for large solid waste items and yard waste.
“We understand the inconvenience that suspending yard waste pick-up has caused our residents,” shared Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough. “The weather was nice last week so a lot of spring yard work was getting done. Residents are also spending more time at home, so that also means they are taking the time to clean closets, attics and garages and have more large items to dispose. Sadly, Republic Services has reported that many residents have begun placing yard waste and household garbage in their recycling containers.”
Clough continued, “This cross-contamination is a direct violation of our collection contract. Continued increases in contamination will force the city and Republic Services to stop recycling collection altogether because the North Central Ohio Waste District will refuse to accept recycling from the city. With the current tough recycling market, brokers will not purchase recycled materials from the district if it has more than 1% contamination. That means all the recycled materials will end up in the landfill and that’s not the direction we want to see Sidney’s strong recycling program go. Residents must stop placing non-recyclable materials in the recycling containers. If this pattern continues over the next week, the city will have no option but to cease recycling collection until further notice. This will force all recycling materials to go the landfill filling up valuable space needed for trash, not recyclable items.”
“Since most of the population is now at home, the volume of trash at the curb has increased over 30%. So much in fact, that completing regularly scheduled routes is difficult,” shared Terry Fenton of Republic Services. “In many other markets, we have suspended recycling collection opting to use the recycle trucks to collect trash which is our main priority. It’s unfortunate that some residents have to be inconvenienced by these adjustments and for that I apologize, but the safety of our employees is the primary concern as these frontline folks are essential to making certain the trash is collected on the scheduled collection days. We’re asking for people to understand that the cross-contamination cannot continue. Drivers will be forced to leave the cross-contaminated materials at the curb if the practice continues.”
Residents should refer to the city’s Solid Waste website (https://www.sidneyoh.com/274/Solid-Waste) for guidelines on yard waste guidelines and acceptable recycling materials.
Residents who need additional solid waste containers should contact the Revenue Collection Department at 937.498.8114 to request the containers. The fee for an additional container is $2.50 per month.
For additional information about how the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to city operations, please visit the city’s COVID-19 Update website at: www.sidneyoh.com/465/COVID-19-Update.