Republic Services representative emphasizes recycling | The star

AUBURN – Craig Lutz, a representative for Republic Services, was in attendance at Thursday’s Public Works and Safety Council meeting to brief city workers on the services and answer questions.

Lutz said the company is still living in a “pandemic state of mind” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect everything the company does.

The volume of waste set by the sidewalk for residential collection is still increasing by 5 to 7%.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it puts the emphasis on the whole system,” he said.

The biggest issues Republic Services faces in today’s climate are supply chain issues and the need for CDL certified employees and drivers. CDL licensed drivers have declined 55% nationally since the pandemic.

He said supply chain issues range from replacement bins, vehicles and parts.

“We all live in this environment and it’s no different in ours,” Lutz said.

The only thing that has rebounded in 2021 is the recycling industry and the raw materials market. With this, Republic Services encourages residents to continue recycling.

He said the recycling market is all about cleanliness and acquiring good quality materials.

“Factories only want the best of the best,” Lutz said.

He directed residents to the Republic Services website,, which has information on how to recycle items the right way.

Here are some recycling tips:

• Paper and cardboard – flatten the cardboard; newspapers, magazines and paper should be clean and not contaminated with food, liquids or garbage. Paper cannot be recycled if it is mixed with other materials. Remove bubble wrap or plastic windows before recycling.

• Metal cans – before recycling food and drink cans, remove paper or plastic labels and clean up all residual materials. Recyclables don’t need to be washed thoroughly, but they should be dry so they don’t contaminate other items.

• Plastic – plastic containers like water bottles, milk jugs and detergent containers can be recycled. Soft plastics like grocery bags, bubble wrap, and styrofoam require special handling and cannot be recycled at the curb. If you can run your finger through the plastic, it has no place in the recycling bin.

Lutz said one of the biggest items that are inappropriately recycled are used pizza boxes that contain food residue and grease. These boxes are not recyclable.

Republic Services will once again be collecting live Christmas trees for recycling after Christmas. Trees should be devoid of ornaments, lights or garlands. They will be picked up on Mondays January 10 and 17. The services of the Republic ask residents to cut the trees in sections of 4 feet to facilitate collection.