Somervell County IESI changed their recycling program, hoping to help out the recycling efforts of county residents.
Aluminum and metal cans are still accepted at the Somervell Convenience Station, located on North Highway 56, just past the animal shelter. All cans should be clean before deposited in the collection bin.
Cardboard and boxboard that has not been contaminated by food is also accepted and needs to be tied and bundled together.
Newspapers no more than two months old, junk mail and catalogs are also accepted.
The station now only accepts plastics one and two, which includes two-liter bottles, shampoo bottles and milk jugs. Containers need to be cleaned and lids removed before going into the collection bin.
David Moore, IESI senior area manager for West and Northwest Texas, provided information about how recycling works and why the changes were necessary.
Recycling technology has caught up to the business and now material doesn’t have to be separated by hand.
The “co-mingled” material is fed into one piece of equipment. Magnets pull out tin cans. Eddy current magnets grab the aluminum. Air-classifiers blow plastics into their own line, leaving behind non-recyclable items.
The number one contaminant found in recycled newspapers is television remote controls.
However, items that are dirty, or still have food products on them, cannot be recycled and contaminates the whole batch.
Also, the collection station had to stop taking glass because they had a hard time finding a market for recycled glass, one of the main reasons being the color of the glass.
Clear glass is the most consumed, but it cannot be mixed with green, brown or other colored glass. Consumers presumably don’t want residential windows with streaks of green or brown. In addition, paper recyclers are reluctant to take paper from a facility that also accepts glass due to the high risk of finding pieces of glass in the paper.
Kacheina Reddell, the scale attendant at the convenience station, hopes the new changes will soon become familiar to regular recyclers and that the process will eventually get easier.
“We have a lot of regulars; some aren’t happy with the changes, others said it’s about time,” Reddell said.
One of the biggest sticking points is the new single collection bin with a latched fence. Residents have to ask an attendant to open the fence before they can drop off their recyclables.
Reddell said some people see it as an inconvenience.
“We got a lot of household trash,” Reddell said, explaining why the fence was necessary at least for now. “We ask that people check in at the scale house and I’ll have to go through it.”
A flyer is available at the station, detailing what is and is not accepted.
A bin for scrap steel is also available, along with a brush pile and a bin for tires.
Fees may apply depending on the item dropped off.
Procedures have changed slightly for residents who take trash to the transfer station. First, drive across the scale and wait for the attendant to record the weight. Drivers will then be directed to the correct drop-off area depending on volume. Once the trash is deposited, drivers need to return to the scale for a net weight to determine charges.
The station is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
For more information, call the station at 897-3727.