CLINTON — Clinton residents heard about the benefits of single-stream recycling Monday evening during the second of three open forums hosted by the city.
Community members filled Clinton City Hall on Monday for a public forum regarding the city's decision to move to single-stream recycling. The forums are being held to prepare residents for the move to single-stream recycling on Oct. 2. Laura Liegois of Muscatine-based Municipal Connections stressed the benefits for the city in switching to single-stream recycling.
"Clinton was one of the very first communities in Iowa to recycle curbside recycling. In the early 1990s it started with three black buckets," Liegois said. "You've been very active in it. But times have changed and we want to get your participation more up. And so with recycling we're going to use less energy to create a new product from a recycled product, we're going to save our natural resources such as our trees, water, air and other sources. Obviously oil, too, with plastics. We're going to save space in landfills."
Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke said the city of Clinton, which makes up approximately 56.3 percent of Clinton County's population, pays almost 60 percent of the landfill head tax and supplies 14 percent of the waste. Brooke said going from 1,500 tons of waste to 1,500 tons of recycling would lower the city's use of the landfill to approximately 9 percent.
"I want the landfill to become efficient," Brooke said. "I'm tired in my first seven months seeing a mountain being built we're going to be able to ski down that has stuff in it that won't go away for years to come because it stays like a tomb."
The city is planning to deliver new carts to residents sometime in the middle of September. The city will notify residents when the carts are to be dropped off at residences. The 95-gallon blue cart will have information delivered with each cart. Liegois believes it is important for residents to know what they can put in the cart and when the recycling will be picked up. The city also plans to educate students in the Clinton School District in the hopes they will help parents with the single-stream recycling process.
"We're working on letting people know," Liegois said. "School will be starting in a few weeks. We're working with the school district to get into the schools. I'll be into schools doing some public education outreach with the kids because we want the kids involved. We want the kids to get excited. So that way they go home and get mom and dad excited about it. We'll make them the recycling sheriffs of the house and see how much recycling they can do."