Modern Waste offers curbside recycling to rural customers 2012.08.01

Written by David Green.

Rural customers of Modern Waste Systems are now able to place recyclable materials at the roadside for removal, and Morenci residents might be next in line for curbside collection.

Notices were mailed to rural customers last week announcing the start of the new service on the first of August. Modern Waste is not charging for the service.

The letter explains that curbside recycling is not mandatory.  To make use of the service, residents must place recyclable items in a clear plastic bag and place at the curb along with regular trash.

Items do not have to be sorted. That chore will be handled by ReCommunity Recycling, a recyclable processing company with locations in Ann Arbor and Romulus.

The service includes all of the items now accepted at Morenci’s recycling center with one exception—only clear glass will be taken. 

In addition to the #1 and #2 plastic containers, Modern also accepts numbers 3 through 7. Kitchen cookware, such as metal pots, pans and utensils are also on the list of acceptable items.

Modern Waste owner Phil Duckham said he’s willing to offer curbside service in Morenci at no cost, but he first wants to speak with city council members. He knows Morenci has a well-functioning recycling center of its own and doesn’t want to negatively impact that if city council still wants to continue supporting it.

Duckham said he doesn’t mean to knock Morenci’s center, but he questions whether people would want to drive to the center when they could just walk to the curb. 

“Not everyone wants to recycle,” he said, “but being that it’s free, we’re hoping that everyone wants to do it.”

His company, along with most others, operate a separate truck to collect recyclable materials, but he thinks the new system of putting everything together in a clear bag without sorting is a simple and easy method. Besides, it saves his company the cost of operating another truck.

“Our goal is to reduce our waste stream by 25 percent,” he said. 

With more people participating, Modern saves money through fewer materials going into the landfill, and it makes some cash by selling recyclables to ReCommunity.

Recyclables are a commodity, Duckham said, and prices go up and down from month to month.

Most everything is recyclable somewhere, he said—generally in China.

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