Manistee decides to move its Recycling Center

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New location at MCC to open Jan. 29; Glocheski Drive area to close Feb. 24

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MANISTEE — Manistee city residents are expected to have a different recycling location to use by Jan. 29 after Manistee City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Manistee Catholic Central (MCC) this week.

The agreement moves operations from the Recycling Center on Glocheski Drive to MCC on 12th Street.

New signage is set to go up this week directing recyclers to MCC while the city plans to use both locations for the next month and allow residents a chance to get used to the new location.

There, a 30 cubic-yard mixed bin will be placed for metal and plastics recycling. Fiber materials like cardboard should be placed in the semitrailer already on site.

Jeff Mikula, director of Manistee’s Department of Public Works, told city council that all recycling services would be moved except for brush collection.

He said in anticipation of the agreement’s approval, the city poured a concrete pad behind the school where the bin for metal and plastics would be placed. He said the existing trailer on site will be used for wood fiber recycling such as cardboard.

“The existing Recycling Center will then be vacated of all those dumpsters and containers and we plan to use that for storage,” Mikula said.

In an email, Mikula said the amount of fiber collected has steadily increased in Manistee, but other types of recycling have seen mixed trends.

“We moved from two pulls a week to three several years ago. In 2018 we added a fifth container and in 2019 a sixth,” he said, adding that “For comingled (recyclables) it’s a mixed trend. We receive tonnage numbers, however the plastic containers being recycled use less material. So even though volume may increase, weight goes down. This increases handling costs and reduces value. Also, last year the market for recycled glass disappeared and we can no longer accept glass. This reduces volume and weight but increases tonnage landfilled.”

At the meeting Tuesday, he said the city’s staff had been exploring opportunities to reduce costs.

Mikula said about two or three years ago the cost of processing fiber was nonexistent, but now it is $16,000. He said moving the center to MCC will assist in reducing future rate increases.

“Manistee Catholic Central has agreed to host the city recycling center. The city would reduce fiber tipping fees by $16,000 and MCC will receive new revenue from a program with Packaging Corporation of America,” he said.

Councilmember Erin Pontiac asked Mikula if the city would still pay for the recycling of metal and plastics.

“Yes, we still will have that on as an expense to the refuse fund but we will be eliminating what it costs for us to have the paper processed,” he said.

Mikula said the city would still be monitoring the site to ensure visitors only use the site for recyclables. He said the city has yet to discuss the possibility of moving its security cameras to the site but added that it is prepared to do so.

The 30 cubic yard comingled bin is emptied on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week and MCC will manage the fiber semitrailer.

At the meeting, Mikula said the the city did not anticipate relocating a section for yard waste at the new site “because it’s a lot more odorous and difficult.” He said while the brush bin onsite was well used by residents, it was impossible for the city to actually process the brush bin’s contents.

“When you put your brush waste on the curb, people are pretty accustomed to putting the large side of that branch out towards the street so the guys can grab them, pull them apart and put them in the chipper,” he said. “When they’re in that bin, they’re all mixed up and it’s impossible to get them apart so we’ve just been hauling those in bulk out to the compost facility just to naturally decompose.”

While the recycling center will not continue to have an area for brush and yard waste, he said the city will continue curbside yard waste pickup weekly.

Mikula said the Recycling Center is only part of the overarching Manistee refuse program.

“Refuse is an enterprise fund, so therefore all additional expenses must be offset in user fees or the refuse millage,” he explained.

The sites have open availability: they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In a news release from the Department of Public Works issued Thursday afternoon, it said the center along North Glocheski Drive will be closed starting Feb. 24.

Additional information on City Refuse and Recycling Services can be found at manisteemi.gov under the Citizen Information Guide tab or by contacting the Department of Public Works at (231) 723-7132.



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