BY MONICA GARCIA The Columbus Telegram
For those who recycle in Columbus, there are a few options. There are the new collection and curbside collection bins for various items throughout the city.
The downside to these containers is the contamination of the items that occurs. Contamination would be considered anything that collectors cannot recycle and items that are dirty and / or have food left on them.
One of Keep Columbus Beautiful’s recycling trailers suffered from constant contamination issues, said Keep Columbus Beautiful executive director Vanessa Oceguera. During the Christmas holidays, things were really bad.
The trailer was pulled and stored on Christmas Eve because it was so contaminated with items that could not be recycled. Oceguera said his team found chicken bones wrapped in foil, coffee mugs with leftover milk and toppings and even bottles of urine.
“I was so disappointed, and we decided this just wasn’t a good location because we didn’t have these issues at our other location – which is at 30 Center Mall on the north side – we didn’t encounter any just not that type of problem, “Oceguera said.” We thought it would be better to take our trash out of this place and find it another home. “
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The trailer has been moved and is now located at Mike Greiner’s National Mattress and Furniture Warehouse, 4320 Howard Blvd. The trailer is located at the corner of Howard Boulevard and 44th Avenue (the west side of the parking lot).
Since the trailer is in a company instead of an open parking lot, we hope people will be more respectful. Employees will often use the side door facing the trailer, so there would be some oversight of this new placement. Trailers are serviced every other day which is another way to monitor the trailer.
“We have problems with people leaving bags – plastic bags – on the ground around the trailer, if it’s full,” she said of the problems they constantly see. She added that the hope is that because of its location, people will find that they can’t just leave things on the ground there.
Items that have regularly contaminated the trailer include: as mentioned above, plastic bags / films, styrofoam, and beverage bottles with leftover liquid. No matter what recycling number is on the item, Oceguera said, they can’t accept these items because the items need to be cleaned or they don’t have a place to take them for recycling.
Mike Greiner, the owner of Mike Greiner’s National Mattress and Furniture Warehouse, said he decided to house the trailer because he had been a recycler most of his life and wanted making sure there was always a place to go if they chose to recycle.
“I would encourage people to recycle,” Greiner said. “If you’re going to recycle, don’t do it partially. Rinse things – things like that. If you are going to recycle, be fully engaged because contaminated recycling only makes it worse.
On average, with each trip to the Schuyler recycling plant, there are just under 500 pounds of recyclable material. There was a recycling center in Columbus in the past. Currently, trailers are the bare minimum for a city the size of Columbus, Oceguera said.
The recycling group demands that all recycled items be clean, dry and possibly flattened. A simple rinsing under water will help to avoid possible contamination.
Items accepted in Keep Columbus Beautiful trailers are plastics 1 through 7 and metals such as aluminum, steel and tin.
Cardboard and paper are accepted in Green Fiber bins in town. There is a group in town that collects and recycles glass containers. They cannot be placed in the Keep Columbus Beautiful trailers as there is a possibility that the item will break and those who sort the recyclables will be injured.
Other recycling options include: bring the recycling directly to the Schuyler Recycling Plant – Colfax County Recycling Facility, 1035 Road E in Schuyler. Or you can do curbside services with Ace Sanitation Service by calling 402-564-4397.
“Every little bit counts,” Oceguera said. “If people want to start recycling, they can go to our website or grab a brochure and see what some of the recycling options are in Columbus, because there are a lot of different materials being recycled. Some of these “weird things” include glasses and hearing aids.
“There are tons of things people can do that make a difference and recycling is just one of them, but we hope to have less contamination, more education on what you can recycle. and how important it is to recycle properly. “
The locations of the Keep Columbus Beautiful trailers and other recycling service sites are available at kcbne.com/local-recycling-1. For more information, visit the Keep Columbus Beautiful website or call The Greiner Company at 402-942-9016.
Monica Garcia is the editor-in-chief of the Columbus Telegram. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.