Recycling carts receive warm welcome two months after roll out

Only 2 percent turn carts away, according to recycling program

Aug 17, 2016

Courtesy photo Barbara Martin (right) and sons Steven (left) and Andrew Wallace of Little Traverse Township streamlined their home recycling system with their new cart.

Emmet County Recyclings new household paper recycling carts have been welcomed with open arms by residents of the five curbside recycling service communities. Over 7,000 of the black carts with bright green lids were distributed in late June to single family homes in Bear Creek, Little Traverse and Resort townships, Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

I thought I saw a tear Barbara Martin of Little Traverse Township said, describing her sons reaction upon delivery of their cart. The family had been hauling their recyclables to a nearby drop site, the job assigned to her sons, Steven and Andrew Wallace. We had five bins lined up in the basement, explained Martin. She used to gather recyclables in the kitchen, then Steven had the job of sorting the materials into the basement totes. I have to admit, we’d let them get a bit more than full before hauling, Martin said. Now the cart and curbside mixed containers totes sit outside the kitchen door and are wheeled to the curb.

It’s great, Steven said, I still have work to do, but it’s less and I don’t have to leave the comfort of my own home. And no lugging up from the basement.

Martin noted that Steven was that kid who pressured his family to begin recycling when he was in elementary school.

Roger and Dora Hartson of Petoskey were already curbside recyclers, but like their new cart.

We set the containers tote out every other week, the cart once a month, said Dora. Regarding the cart, Roger said, it’s easy for us. I’m 77 years old. If I can roll the cart to the curb, lots of people should be able to.

There were, of course, those who didn’t care for the change. The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit which advises communities on the ins and outs of recycling carts (and helped fund the Emmet County project), has observed that typically about 2 percent of customers decline the offered cart. Emmet County’s project was roughly in line with this percentage.

The vast majority of those who didn’t want their cart were very positive about the recycling system in general, the cart just didn’t fit their situation. Many people have got their home recycling system perfected” special shelves for their totes in their garage, for example, or a way of dealing with a very long driveway” and just prefer to stick with the totes, said Jayna Steffel, the Emmet County employee who, among other staff, takes the hundreds of phone calls generated by the cart project.

The carts are for customer convenience. If you prefer to continue using the totes, or even the drop sites, that is fine. We just appreciate that you are recycling with us. Steffel said.

Amy Franklin, a resident of Bay Harbor, put the most common reaction to the carts simply. I like the cart better. It is just easier. I keep it in the garage and then just roll em out.

For more information on the new carts visit EmmetRecycling.org or call (231) 348-0640.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorized, on December 27th, 2016 .

Emmet County Department of Public Works
200 Division Street, G-76, Petoskey, MI 49770 • 231-348-0640

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