By Paul Ploumis
MONTROSE (Scrap Monster): The City of Montrose’s expanded recycling program has won the 2016 American Public Works Association (APWA) Colorado Chapter Award 2016.
The award is in recognition of the strong organization skills to administer the program, which has helped the city to maintain low-cost sanitation services to its residents. The recycling and composting initiatives undertaken by the city has helped to reduce sanitation disposal costs in a big way.
The City of Montrose had introduced Single Stream recycling program to residents during early January in 2013. As part of the program, residents were required to place all recyclable materials in one cart. The accepted items included Plastics #1-7, Paper, Cardboard and paperboard and Metals such as Aluminum and tin/steel cans, metal caps and lids, wire, etc. The items excluded from single stream recycling included glass, plastic bags, caps and lids, plastic items with no recycling symbol, shredded paper and hardbound books, Styrofoam cups, packaging and peanuts, batteries, appliances and electronic waste, contaminated recyclables, liquids and green waste. The city had clarified that glass materials are likely to break during the collection process, which in turn may contaminate other materials and make processing of materials more difficult at sorting facilities.
In April this year, the City of Montrose had expanded its single-stream recycling program, by adding more recycling services that were not available earlier to residents. The expansion added more recycling opportunities to residents by allowing them to recycle electronic waste with glass screens, used tires, fluorescent tubes/compact fluorescent lamps and green waste.
Effective July 2013, Colorado had banned disposal of electronic waste in landfills. However, the expanded program allows city residents to recycle two units in aggregate per residential address each calendar year, by disposing them free of cost at Public Works facility. Also, Montrose citizens can recycle up to 8 tires per residential address in each calendar year. Also, recycling of unlimited quantities of fluorescent tube lamps and compact fluorescent lamps are allowed for city residents beginning April this year. In addition, the Public Works facility had started accepting unlimited quantities of green waste such as lawn clippings, garden plants, weeds, leaves, hedge/tree trimmings and tree branches under six inches.
A large number of businesses and organizations provide recycling services for a wide variety of materials including automotive fluids, electronics, batteries, textiles, and other materials that are not included in the city's Single-Stream Recycling program.
According to APWA, continued success of sustainable recycling program is dependent on strong participation from the community. The City has conducted far-reaching campaigns to educate the public on what materials could be put into the bins and what not. Moreover, the city has been successful in operating collection services as per schedule, once every two weeks.
The American Public Works Association (APWA) is a not-for-profit, professional association of public works agencies, private companies, and individuals dedicated to promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. Chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest organization of its kind in the world, supporting 63 chapters throughout North America. The APWA Colorado Chapter, started in 1962, to date has over 700 members.