City reminds residents of recycling policies

A sign is posted near the recycling bins stating services are for residents only. The site has five paper and cardboard recycling containers. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

A sign is posted near the recycling bins stating services are for residents only. The site has five paper and cardboard recycling containers. (Ashlyn Korienek/ News Advocate)

MANISTEE — In terms of sustainability, recycling has been an important part of the community in Manistee for many years.

Although plenty of residents use the recycling program, some might be unsure of what rules and regulations to follow.

In light of Manistee Township recently eliminating the recycling program, the Manistee City Council held a discussion about recycling education and regulations on Tuesday during a work session.

After nearly two decades of service, the recycling program in Manistee Township was cut due to frequent abuse from its users. Garbage was often found in the containers, which adds costs to manage.

The recycling containers were located near the township’s fire station at 1331 Hill Road, which is no longer available for drop-off. Elimination was effective July 1.

Council member Mark Wittlieff spoke about the city’s recycling program at a recent work session with hopes to continue maintaining the site at 350 N. Glocheski Drive.

“With Manistee Township cancelling their recycling program, due to trash being left, they are running into numerous dollars to get rid of it,” he said. “That’s what worries me, that the city is going to have to spend a lot of money that we could put into other areas.”

Jeff Mikula, Manistee Department of Public Works (DPW) director, said with relocation of the recycling program from its previous location, at the City Garage at 280 Washington St., the amount of trash has been significantly reduced. He said the program is highly beneficial in the community.

“This center operates 24/7 for seven days a week. Since we moved the site, I have seen an uptick in the numbers of people using that site,” Mikula said. “From my perspective, this recycling center is very successful. It’s not very taxing on my staff since we moved it.”

The DPW has been monitoring illegal dumping multiple times a week by checking bins for garbage, to protect the recycling from the landfill and save costs. In the past, the DPW issued warnings to those caught misusing the site.

“Once (recycling) gets contaminated it has to be landfilled,” Mikula said. “I’m not aware of any of our loads in full that have been rejected. We have actually stopped some people when we found that they were abusing the site, we have been able to contact them directly.”

Mikula said cameras are set up to detect information about individuals misusing the site, and after investigating the city can issue a warning. The council agreed to change the positions of the cameras to better detect licence plates.

The council will revisit the issue with further options in a September work session.
“The city believes the recycling center is a great asset to the community,” Mikula said. “We intended the service to be only for the residents. If people respect it and not put material outside of the dumpsters and keep it clean we can continue to provide it.”

Currently, the DPW is focused on educating the community on the recycling program. Fiber products such as paper and cardboard are placed together in five different bins, and one large bin allows for metal, plastics and glass.

When using the recycling facilities, the DPW said residents should following the following rules:

  • Items in bulk should be properly placed in the container. If overflowing, contact the DPW at (231) 723-7132 to report it;
  • All items must be free of food and cardboard should be properly broken down;
  • Paper items are accepted, however items such as wrapping paper, used paper plates or wax paper are not accepted;
  • Metal is accepted in forms of steel, tin cans or aluminum foil. Items such as kitchen-ware, scrap metal and foil backed paper are not accepted;
  • Glass can be recycled, however broken windows, light bulbs and mirrors are not accepted; and
  • When recycling plastic, check containers for a 1-7 symbol and plastic bags for a number two or four symbol. Milk jugs, bottles, flower pots and plastic cups are all recyclable materials — with the proper symbol.

For those who are unsure of what items to recycle, call the Republic Services customer service center at (877) MY-TRASH.

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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