By DAVID GREEN
It’s official now—Morenci residents have free curb recycling if they want it.
Phil Duckham of Modern Waste received city council’s blessing to extend the program to Morenci residents. Modern already provides the service in Hillsdale County and other areas of Lenawee County. Curbside service will begin in Jackson next month.
Duckham said the unique single-stop service is what allows it to be offered at no cost.
Typical curbside recycling programs require customers to sort their recyclable items and a separate truck will pick them up.
Modern’s service only requires that recyclables are placed in a clear plastic bag, no more than three-fourths full. These bags will be placed into Modern’s regular trash truck and sorted later.
A least one Morenci business is selling the clear bags in two sizes.
“It’s free because we’re reducing our disposal costs and making some money off the sale of our recyclables,” Duckham said.
Duckham said the goal of his company is to separate 25 percent of their waste stream from a landfill.
Duckham said that many Morenci residents inadvertently received a notice about curbside pickup before he had the opportunity to speak with city council. He wanted council’s approval because he didn’t want to compete against the city’s successful recycling center.
Duckham said curbside service will be provided throughout the remainder of the contract that expires June 30, 2013. He’s hoping city council will extend the contract for another three years, with the recycling services continuing.
Audience member Colleen Leddy questioned whether the service would always be free. The curbside program could lead to the closure of Morenci’s recycling center. If Modern’s service ended in the future, then the city would not have a center.
“We have about $600,000 invested in our new sorting center,” Duckham said, “and we’re going to make it work.”
City council members voted in favor of the curbside service. Mayor Keith Pennington noted that the only drawback for residents is that some cardboard would have to be cut in order to fit into a bag. On the plus side, Modern accepts all plastics from #1 to #7.