Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

Curbside trash recycling could return to Orange County if enough households are willing to pay $10 per month.

“We found out about this company and basically they cater to smaller communities that can’t afford to recycle on their own,” explained Sandra Hoke of Keep Orange County Beautiful.

She and Deborah Bednar, President of Keep Orange County Beautiful, are set for further talks with Ryan Smith, CEO of Recyclops, a Utah company that says its mission is to make recycling as easy and accessible as possible.

Orange County used to offer recycling service at the county landfill and Bridge City had a recycling station at its City Hall before Waste Management ceased its residential recycling business in Southeast Texas.

Orange County commissioners are supporting the Keep Orange County Beautiful recycling effort. Bednar and Hoke have also gotten a good reception by Kelvin Knauf, acting city manager of Orange, the women say.

County Commissioner Johnny Trahan pushed through a resolution for the county to provide the Recyclops bags for the first 100 people who sign up.

“The county had been paying $300 per month for the recycle bin at county dump. So that [free bags] is a good incentive,” Hoke said.

She said Keep Orange County Beautiful will offer folks the opportunity to sign up for recycling at a booth set up during Shangri-La’s Scarecrow Festival, Oct. 8-Nov. 2.

Recyclops advertises it will offer twice-monthly curbside pickup to households who sign up – if enough households in a community sign up.

Bednar says she understands Orange County would need 200 to 250 households to sign up to initiate the service.

Information available on the home page at recyclops.com lists Orange County, Texas as a pre-launch location and instructs those interested to click on the Orange County tab to sign up.

Clicking on the tab yields the information that 300 households must sign up and when that number is reached, the company will contact registrants via email to let them know when service will begin.

According to the website, the cost is $10 per month or $110 a year. Hoke says she understands no sorting of recyclables is required and customers may pay online monthly.

The website indicates a $10 one-time setup fee is required, along with the purchase of a year’s supply of Recyclops’ 13-gallon drawstring recyclable bags for $10.

All household paper, flattened cardboard, metal and plastic containers #1-5 and #7 are accepted.

Items not eligible for recycling are motor oil, insecticides, plastic grocery bags, hazardous material containers, electronics, plastic bags, sheets, tarp or raps, plastic containers #6, and glass.

The recycling rate in the United States has increased from less than 7% in 1960 to more than 34% in 2015, according to the Student Conservation Association.

Recycling, the act of transforming something old into something new, benefits the environment in a number of ways. It saves on energy, materials and natural resources. Less waste goes to landfills.

There are few materials that cannot be recycled.

Paper products make up the largest percentage – 26% — of all waste materials in the United States, the EPA says.

Progress on plastic has been slow in the United States, with less than 9% of plastic waste being recycled in 2015. Plastic can take anywhere from five to 600 years to break down.

Glass presents an opportunity for additional growth. In 2015, 26% of waste glass was being recycled.

Americans currently discard about 2.7 million tons of aluminum each year and only about 50% of it is recycled.

Hoke points out that Orange County trash ends up going to the Newton landfill.

“Recycling keeps stuff out of the landfill,” Hoke said. “If the Newton one closes, wherever they go, it’s going to go farther away.

“So when you look at it, recycling makes sense.”