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Curbside recycling going better than expected

Staff writer

Tuesday, day two of the test period for Hillsboro’s single-stream curbside recycling program, street foreman Dale Dalke said residents are recycling about twice as much material as originally projected.

“We averaged out tonnage received at the recycling center and found that we usually get about two tons a month,” Dalke said Tuesday. “I was expecting about 1,000 pounds a day.”

He said crews collected 2,240 pounds of recyclable material Monday and 2,820 pounds Tuesday.

While much of the weight can be attributed to normal day-to-day materials, Dalke said materials like boxes of magazines and boxes of old books seemed to have been accumulated over a longer period of time.

He speculated that numbers might also be higher than a typical week since it is also the city’s official community cleanup week.

Accordingly, crews picked up recyclable material Dalke thought may have been set out for cleanup week.

However, he indicated many materials were “definitely sorted” out of trash items into clearly marked recycling bins.

Mayor Delores Dalke set out her recyclables Monday.

“It was a treat for me to be able to just set my stuff on the curb,” Mayor Dalke said. “I usually load my pickup and drive it over to the recycling center. I hope we can work this program into our permanent way of doing things.”

The program’s future is unclear and largely dependent on community participation this week, Dale Dalke said.

“We’re looking to combine the recycling program with our trash pickup while keeping the same amount of manpower, but updating equipment,” he said. “It would probably add more man hours to the pickup schedule if we did it every week.”

Friday is the last day of the program’s trial period. Afterward, Dalke and crew will evaluate the plausibility of a weekly, biweekly, or monthly pickup.

To save time, he would like to upgrade trash trucks to a partially automated model that can be operated by one person.

The recycling center will be open for the rest of the week, he said, and the curbside test period was meant to raise recycling awareness, too.

“Single-stream curbside recycling is definitely more convenient for people,” Dalke said. “You just have to teach them how to do it.”

Last modified April 30, 2015

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