- Jordan D. Smith
Portland Goes Green with Curbside Recycling
While recycling has long been a part of the community of Portland, this past Fall, participating in recycling became a lot easier with the delivery of Granger curbside recycling bins. Since September, these yellow lidded bins have become a common sight alongside trash cans as you drive through Portland on garbage day. It has been six months since curbside recycling was launched in town and The Beacon reached out to Granger, the city’s refuse management company, to see how the program is going.
According to the Granger website, accepted materials include: corrugated cardboard, boxboard #1-7 plastic bottles and jugs, mixed paper, tin and aluminum cans, as well as clear and colored glass bottles and containers. According to Granger Community Relations Coordinator Breiana Pugh, “Well-meaning residents frequently put common materials in their recycling carts that we don’t accept. Batteries and electronics have the potential to be flammable and pose a threat to our associates when they are placed in recycling carts. Plastic bags are also an issue. They get tangled and twisted in our machinery and can cause shutdowns at recycling facilities. Bulky, rigid plastics (items like buckets, totes or baskets) are often seen in recycling carts as well. We don’t accept them for recycling due to their size and the fact that their composition can vary so much.” A complete list of accepted and not accepted items is available at https://www.grangernet.com/recycle-guidelines/portland/
In late 2017, numerous national news sources reported that China, which is the largest importer of recycled materials from the US would be halting the import of nearly all foreign waste to protect the environment and the health of their citizens. This policy shift has the potential to dramatically affect recycling programs across the United States as a large portion of the markets for all that recycled paper, plastic, glass, metal and cardboard disappears overnight. “There will be some effect on local recycling efforts, but it will not be as extreme as what recyclers are seeing on the West Coast,” says Pugh, “the biggest effect we will see... will be a push for cleaner material…” So, don’t forget to rinse out those cans, bottles and jars before sticking them in your recycling bin.
Since the program is so new, Pugh said that the company does not yet have data on how many households participate in recycling. However, she said that, “all households within the city limits were given the opportunity to participate in the curbside recycling program.” For residents of Portland and Danby townships, that was a contentious move. Previously, Granger operated a recycling drop off center for residents of the City of Portland as well as Portland and Danby Township residents on the grounds of the Portland Department of Public Works. Since the launch of curbside recycling however that has center has closed.
Since then, as previously reported in The Beacon, Township officials have partnered with Granger and local businessman Brian Wohlscheid to provide a monthly recycling drop off site. “We knew from surveying our residents that they wanted us to continue providing a local site,” said Portland Township Supervisor Chris Jensen. Each fourth Saturday of the month, and the following Sunday, Portland and Danby residents can drop off their recycling at Municipal Supply on Industrial Drive in Portland from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.