Republic Services cuts back on recyclables pickup

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeAt capacity: Republic Services’ 30-yard dumpster at their northside location fills up with recycling materials in under a week.

Kathy Kinney knows just how fast recycling can pile up.

“We have a 30-yard dumpster, and now it fills up in about four days,” said Kinney, executive director of the Vigo County Solid Waste Management District.

Last month, Republic Services stopped curbside collection of recyclables to about 75 homes in Vigo County.

“It is in the northern part and scattered throughout the county. We did not have the density out there, and with the continued pressure on the recycling markets, it did not really make sense to drive all those county roads to pick up that few of people,” said Ken DePasse, director of governmental relations for Republic Services.

“We have, give or take, 1,000 [homes] who pay for curbside recycling,” DePasse said, adding that Vigo County residents do not have to pay if they take their recyclables to the Vigo County Solid Waste facility at 3230 E. Haythorne Ave.

The increase in recyclables now dumped at the county solid waste management district office has caused Kinney to have the dumpster emptied twice a week instead of once a week.

“My volume has exploded in the last month,” Kinney said.

“We’ll see how that works [with Republic] picking up [here] twice a week, but when they empty it, I can probably fill half of it [immediately] with stuff people have dumped here,” she said.

People aren’t supposed to just drive up to the Solid Waste facility on Haythorne, dump material on the ground and just drive off, but they often do, Kinney said.

DePasse said after the end market for recyclables is drastically smaller after China stopped taking solid waste scrap recyclables and other Southeast Asian countries put on restrictions as well.

“All of the overseas markets are drying up as far as an outlet for materials, which is driving the costs up dramatically to process the materials and try to find an outlet,” DePasse said.

Wallace Brothers Disposal and Recycling, based in Clay County but which also serves Vigo County, ended its curbside pickup for recycling last year.

“But we offer recycling in our Brazil facility,” said Hannah Sutton, a customer service representative. Specific items can be dropped off free of charge, such as No. 1 and No. 7 plastics, aluminum and tin cans, and newspaper.

Contact Wallace Brother at 866-443-5904 to learn more of what can be dropped of at its facility at 2067 West US Highway 40 in Brazil.

Indiana State University’s Recycling Center at 447 N 9th St. in Terre Haute also accepts certain recyclables free of charge. For more information, visit www2.indstate.edu/facilities/recycle or call (812) 237-8840.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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