The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 15, 2013

Officials seek single-stream recycling

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Representatives from the city of Clinton are asking the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency to consider a single-stream recycling format.

Single-stream recycling is a system where all recyclable materials mix in a collection truck, instead of being sorted by the depositor into separate commodities. The Clinton County Recycling Center is currently a multi-sort facility, requiring communities to separate the recyclables by type.

Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser attended the CCAWSA meeting Thursday to ask the board to consider ways to make recycling easier and more cost effective for Clinton residents. Springsted Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., recently presented a study to the city on all of the services it provides. Kinser told the CCASWA that according to the study, the city would need to set the recycling rate at $5 per household for fiscal year 2014.

“The way we have to provide the service to meet the end result needed here at the solid waste authority is resulting in some unnecessary expense to our citizens,” Kinser said.

She asked that the board look at options for better utilizing the recycling center.

CCASWA Director Brad Seward said they have looked at going to a one or two-sort facility. He added the best way to utilize a single-stream system would be to have automated-sorting machines. He said this is the safer method.

“You do not jeopardize workers. You do not have to go out and hire gobs and gobs of workers to sort through mixed recyclables, which could contain sharps or anything of that nature,” Seward said.

With building upgrades, Seward estimated the cost of a single-stream system between $4 million and $7 million. Another option would be to move the center to a two-sort facility and have workers separate them by hand.

Seward also presented a third option that would change the center to a transfer facility. He told the board that the Scott County solid waste agency is looking at having a single-stream facility in the next 18 to 24 months. If this happened, the agency would seek recyclables from other counties.

No action was taken on the matter. This topic will remain as a discussion item at future CCASWA meetings.