Recycling in Juneau is expanding.
It has graduated from a glass crusher operating in a state parking lot one morning a week to a city-funded center that accepts a wider variety of recyclables and is open two full days.
"We gave our crusher to the city, which established a one-stop center with a contract with Waste Management," said Margot Knuth, president of Friends of Recycling.
Last fall, the city contracted with Waste Management/Arrow Refuse to operate a centralized collection spot at the local landfill, 5600 Tonsgard Court in the Lemon Creek area.
"It's a pilot situation because we don't know how much we will get," said Waste Management District Manager Glen Thompson. "We are in a stockpile mode now; we haven't shipped anything."
Stockpiled at the site are 40 cubic yards of aluminum, 30 of tin and 20 of cardboard. The site began collecting newsprint and cardboard at the end of February.
A bailer, now on order, will make shipping bulky materials easier when it begins operating next month.
Locals can bring paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin and glass Wednesday and Saturday for free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commercial deposits are also welcome, but businesses must pay, Anderson said. Charges are $60 a ton for aluminum and $100 a ton for cardboard; prices fluctuate with the market.
Separate local recycling efforts include aluminum collection boxes at schools and other locations.
Those using the landfill's new recycling center support its operation.
"It keeps the landfill from filling up with things that can be used over and over. It's the right thing to do in this day and age," said Kim Titus, regional supervisor for the department of Fish and Game, as he dropped off glass.
Carol Ende and her husband Jim Hammond swing by every other month.
"We believe in it," Ende said. "Personally it feels better to be recycling than to be putting it in our dump."
"We waste too much already," Hammond said as he unloaded.
Jim Anderson made his first visit to the new center last Saturday. "This is much nicer - having it where you can bring it all. We're getting spoiled being taken care of so well."
Vikki and John Parson visit the recycling center twice a month, bringing glass and tin. And that's only part of their effort. "We recycle our papers and aluminum at the Humane Society, and our plastic bags at Carrs or Fred Meyer," Vikki Parson said.
Centralized recycling appeals to many residents, but others would like to see neighborhood centers closer to home.
"I think centers should be a little more ubiquitous around town - more drop-off sites so it would be easier for people," said Jamie Barlow, dropping off recyclables during her lunch hour.
Mark "Red" Geil operates the Bobcat that moves glass from deposit container to crusher.
"In a week, we get 30 yards of uncrushed bottles," Geil said. The product is a green-clear-brown "gravel" use to supplement sand spread on icy roads.
Sondra Stanley of Friends of Recycling noted the organization, a decade old, had "unofficially disbanded" now that the city had taken over. She approves wholeheartedly of the new centralized site.
"It's a wonderful move. The fact that it's open two days a week and the hours are better should encourage people," she said.
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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