February 19, 2019
Another service is being offered for Genoa Township residents to recycle corrugated cardboard.
The board met Monday night and unanimously approved a motion to place two containers in the upper lot of the township hall off Dorr Road for corrugated cardboard only. In late October, the township switched to Advanced Disposal for services, which offers every other week recycling. Although the carts are larger than the bins that used to be provided, a number of customers expressed displeasure with the every other week recycling – especially in terms of cardboard. The township did obtain a bid to go back to every week recycling. That came with a hefty price tag of $185,000 – which during the meeting Township Manager Mike Archinal referred to as “using a sledgehammer to kill an ant”.
With the effect of Amazon, online purchases and boxes from various retailers for things like tv’s or large appliances; Archinal says people have a hard time getting rid of the cardboard especially the serious recyclers. In response, the board agreed to pay for the two containers to accommodate cardboard only to be picked up at least once a week. Archinal says this should help residents who have extra cardboard they’ve been storing in garages or elsewhere and trying to weed out by sardining it into their recycle bins every other week. Archinal tells WHMI they have a very vocal, passionate minority of people not happy with the volume of recycling currently available under the contract. He and the board agreed this latest action is a good step to address concerns without breaking the bank so hopefully it will address concerns and give residents another option to get rid of it.
The new containers should be installed within a few days and will be monitored to see how often they’re being used. Archinal says if they need to be picked up more, then they’ll do that. If it works out, then the board agreed they could possibly install landscaping and a concrete pad to dress up the area. If not, then Archinal says they’ll come back to the board to try and determine other options. It was noted that when the new containers are installed, the township will put something out on social media. Another township-wide mailer will be going out with information about what constitutes appropriate recycling to avoid contamination. Archinal says they will continue to work on educating residents about appropriate recycling as they are still getting around 30% contamination of loads. He says it’s mostly plastic shopping bags that cannot go in recycling and people are still putting water bottles in the bags – which gets in and messes up equipment at recycling facilities. Styrofoam also cannot be recycled. Archinal says it’s just an education process, noting people want to do the right thing and think if they put in the recycle bin then it won’t go to landfill. In reality, he says they are actually contaminating loads, causing a lot more to go to the landfill. It’s referred to as “aspirational recycling” –just because you want something to recycle, doesn’t mean it should. (JM)