Recyclers Resume Normal Operations

Excerpted from our media release on the subject April 2, 2020.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Emmet County Recycling announced three good pieces of news Thursday:

  • They are resuming collection of the Mixed Containers stream, which includes bottles, cans, cartons, cups, tubs and the like. This is effective immediately.
  • Curbside recycling service will resume on Monday, April 6 with routes running on their usual days, and
  • Residents of Resort, Bear Creek and Little Traverse townships may put their rolling Papers, Boxes and Bags cart back to work, effective Monday, April 6.

Collection of Mixed Containers was temporarily suspended due to the layout of the mixed containers sort line at the county’s recycle processing facility. The line design did not allow for the workers to maintain six feet of social distance. However, when asked for suggestions for how mixed containers sortation could be accomplished safely, sort crew members designed and built floor to ceiling barricades from heavy cardboard to separate themselves. “At noon one day last week I asked them to think about it and get me ideas. By 2:00 that afternoon the sorters had not only come up with a solution, they had built the barricades!” said Emmet County Recycling Director Andi Shepherd.

Curbside recycling service was suspended effective Monday, March 23 with customers asked to hold on to their recyclables. “Erring on the side of caution, a number of our drivers were self quarantined. But everyone is well and coming back and industry experts and OSHA concluded that curbside drivers can work without dangerous exposure to the virus. We are glad to be getting curbside trucks back on the road,” said Wendy Fought, manager of the program’s drivers.

Fought also acknowledged the drivers who serviced the Recycling Drop Sites over the past two weeks. “We are so grateful that they stepped up and maintained drop site bin capacity for our customers. We also thank our office staff members who took on drop site clean ups.”

Curbside customers with more recyclables than will fit in their carts and totes can set the additional materials out in storage totes or cardboard boxes. For ergonomic reasons, totes or boxes should be no larger than the green Emmet County Recycling curbside totes. In addition, Shepherd noted that, as always, boxes over two feet by two feet when flattened are not accepted curbside but are welcome at the Recycling Drop Sites.

“Getting ‘country carts’ back in service right now is the icing on the cake,” said ECR Communications Coordinator Kate Melby. The Emmet County Road Commission is lifting “frost laws” truck weight restrictions effective Monday, April 6 at 7:00 a.m. As a result, the large trucks required to empty the rolling carts can again access all neighborhoods. “We’re delighted to provide customers with something going back to normal while so much is disrupted,” said Melby.

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

For additional information on Emmet County, please visit www.emmetcounty.org

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