Jacksonville hopes more space will lead to less waste
by Laura Gaddy
Jun 02, 2013 | 4925 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A recycling bin awaits pickup on a Jacksonville curbside recently. The city will replace the familiar blue bins with bigger ones Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
A recycling bin awaits pickup on a Jacksonville curbside recently. The city will replace the familiar blue bins with bigger ones Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)
This summer the city of Jacksonville will more than double the size of residents’ recycling bins, a move that is expected to significantly increase the amount of refuse collected and reused.

The city has offered recycling bins to residents for more than a decade, but beginning this summer, the small bins will be replaced with 95-gallon cans. Instead of being collected every week the new trash-can sized bins will be collected every-other week.

“We want to be as good as we can to the environment,” Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith said.

The change won’t affect collection rates, but it was part of a contract renewal with Allied Waste, the company that manages waste collection in Jacksonville. At a recent City Council meeting, a representative for Allied told the council the amount of items recycled in other Alabama cities increased when residents began receiving 95-gallon trash bins.

The cities of Clay, Helena and Alabaster have all begun offering 95-gallon bins to residents. City leaders in Clay and Helena said changes to the recycling programs there have been received relatively well by residents.

Clay has collected 20 tons of recyclables from about 3,000 residents since the city began offering the new bins in April, said Ronnie Dixon, the city manager.

He said just six residents have declined to participate in the program, which is considered mandatory. Most responses, he said, have been positive.

“The ones that are really for recycling appreciate it,” Dixon said.

Helena Mayor Mark Hall said about half of the residents participate in his city’s recycling program, which is voluntary.

Hall pointed out that the 95-gallon bins are easier for the waste company to manage because they can be collected by an automated truck, while the smaller bins have to be collected by hand.

“It seems to work well,” Hall said. “We’ve had very good service from that company and we’ve had very little complaints.”

Alabaster resident Lisa Glasgow said her city began supplying residents with 95-gallon bins about two years ago. An avid recycler, she said she appreciated the change.

“It made a huge difference,” Glasgow said.

She said she fills her recycling bin by the time collection crews reach her home every other week.

Calhoun County residents outside Jacksonville have other options to get their reusable waste recycled.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Calhoun County place large recycling bins across the county. Community bins can be found at the Civil Defense Barn on Bynum Leatherwood Road, at a county barn in Ohatchee, at the Huron Valley Steel Corporation office, at the Winn Dixie on Noble Street and at Cane Creek Community Garden. Until recently, three large recycling bins were in the parking lot at Quintard Mall, but those bins were removed, said Jennifer Yates, who manages the county-wide recycling program.

Yates said she is working with managers at other retail locations to find a new place to place the three bins, which were widely used.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.
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