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Inside look on how curbside recycling would work

By By BRIAN CUARON
March 28, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated March 27, 2011 at 10:28 p.m.


Do you agree with the proposed curbside recycling program?

If they pick up what they say they're going to do in a timely manner.

George Johnson

Yeah, I think it's a pretty good idea.

Lynn Vasquez

If they really do it, I don't have a problem with it.

Johnny Vasquez

That would be all right. Seventy-eight cents, (you) wouldn't even realize it.

Martha Jones

That's definitely worth 78 cents a month.

Debbie Woods-Janota

Not as I understand it, no.

Richard Fritz

What's next

Assistant environmental services director Darryl Lesak said the city council won't vote on curbside recycling until the contract is finalized.

There's no definite timeline for that but Lesak said the city is hoping to bring it to a vote sometime this summer.

Communications director O.C. Garza said curbside recycling is expected to begin late this fall or in early 2012.

Victoria resident Debbie Woods-Janota commutes six days a week to Houston, leaving her little time to recycle.

"My days and my weekends are pretty busy," she said.

It may soon be easier for residents like Woods-Janota to go green.

After initial approval by the city council on Tuesday, city staff will begin meeting with Waste Management to negotiate a contract that includes curbside recycling and a household hazardous waste program that will pick up the waste from residents' homes.

Not all residents support the proposed programs, though. Richard Fritz said he supports recycling, but that there needs to be more accountability to make sure residents actually use the programs.

Fritz also said he doesn't like the programs' additional costs.

The city's contract negotiations with Waste Management could take one to two months, said Darryl Lesak, assistant director of Environmental Services.

Lesak recently sat down to explained both recycling programs.

Q. How much will the new programs cost residents?

A. The curbside recycling program will cost an additional 78 cents, while the household hazardous waste program will cost 65 cents. Residents' monthly solid waste bill will increase from $17.37 to $18.80 as a result.

Q. How much will the new programs cost the city?

A. The city will have to purchase a truck that will cost about $250,000 for the curbside recycling route. The city will also advertise the program.

Q. Will the city still operate its recycling drop-off point on Huvar Street once Waste Management's recycling center opens?

A. No, the costs of operating the city's recycling drop-off point will be rolled into the cost of the curbside recycling program.

Q. Where will the new recycling center be located?

A. Waste Management may lease property from the city for its recycling center. The city and Waste Management are considering several locations. Lesak declined to identify them.

Q. What materials will the curbside recycling and household hazardous waste programs accept?

A. The curbside recycling program will accept glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard, tin and seven kinds of plastic. "That would cover all your milk jugs, all your soda bottles, your waters. It covers pretty much every kind of plastic that you can purchase," Lesak said.

The household hazardous waste program will accept such things as TVs, computers, other e-waste, oil, household chemicals, paint, herbicides and pesticides.

Q. How will the household hazardous waste program work?

A. Residents will be given a toll-free number to call. Upon calling, Waste Management will mail residents a bag to place the hazardous material in, an information card and an outside label for them to fill out. Waste Management would pick up the hazardous waste on a later date determined by the company and resident.

Q. Why doesn't the city have residents drop off their hazardous materials?

A. The city didn't want to have a drop-off point for hazardous waste because of safety and permitting issues. "You mix the wrong two chemicals, you can get an explosion," Lesak explained. Waste Management already operates a company that picks up hazardous waste.

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