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Free recycling gaining popularity

Staff writer

Even after Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt thought all drop-offs would have ended, recyclers were lining up, wanting to drop off newspapers, bottles, and cans Saturday in Goessel.

Some people brought vans and pickups full of recyclables. One woman brought as much as would fit in the basket of her bicycle.

“I’m very concerned for the environment,” participant Mary Graber of rural Goessel said.

Recycling helps keep her home tidy.

Toby Smith moved to Goessel from Newton, where recycling is mandatory. He recycles out of habit and wanting to set a good example for his children, he said.

Participants listed many reasons they liked the county recycling program, but the most common was that it is free.

“This is great,” Casey Jacob said. “I love not having to pay to recycle.”

Jacob, a recent K-State graduate, said Manhattan’s recycling program was too inconvenient.

Stanley Wiens of rural Goessel said he appreciated that country residents could use the program.

There are concerns about the program, however.

Harvey County wants the trailer used for recycling back before school starts, Schmidt said.

He said he was looking for trailers to purchase. A new trailer would take 30 to 45 days for delivery.

“I will go to these towns with trash buckets if I have to,” Schmidt said Monday at a County Commission meeting.

Saving recyclables for an entire month caused residents some issues.

Even after washing, soft drink bottles can attract insects, Smith said. Storage also is a problem for Smith and his family of four. He said twice monthly pickup would be about right.

The program sends a trailer to every city in Marion County except Marion, Hillsboro, and Peabody once a month. The county is divided into three routes, each traveled on a different Saturday. Pilsen and Marion County Park and Lake also are on the route. Schmidt said he hopes to add Eastshore soon.

Hillsboro and Peabody have their own recycling programs, and Marion residents can drop off recyclables Thursday and Saturday at the transfer station.

Someone from the county helps participants sort recyclables into the right bins. The trailer stays at each stop for half an hour to two hours.

The county added a weekly cardboard pickup route for businesses because of high demand, Schmidt said. For more information, call the transfer station at (620) 382-5655.

Last modified July 29, 2009

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