Less than a month after it began accepting white paper for recycling, Capitol Disposal has decided to provide the service free of charge to businesses and government agencies.
"Businesses still have to pay for aluminum, steel cans, newspaper and cardboard, but white paper recycling is free to them," said Janet Grange, an administrative officer for the city Public Works Department.
Waste Management - the parent company for Capitol Disposal - began recycling white paper Oct. 20, about four months after Gastineau Human Services, a nonprofit group, ended its recycling program.
But unlike GHS, Capitol Disposal did not provide pickup services and charged businesses and government agencies 5 cents a pound for white paper.
Michael Allison, Southeast district manager for Waste Management, said the original plan was "becoming too confusing," prompting the company to begin accepting white paper free of charge.
"At this point we don't know if it's going to be a loser or not," Allison said. "If it turns out to be a money-loser, we may want to re-evaluate it. That, too, would depend on how much money is lost.
"We're just hoping that people will take advantage of it. There may be a ramping-up period where people may not be used to it or know about it."
Public Works staffer Grange said the city also has contracted with a Juneau-based business, Wolverine Courier Service, to pick up white paper from city offices. Wolverine began picking up the city's white paper recycling Wednesday.
Dale Wunderlich, co-owner of Wolverine Courier Service, said the first day of pickup showed city offices are doing a good job of putting out only white paper for recycling. Office paper to be recycled must not be colored or contain large color graphics.
Wunderlich said the courier service is talking with the state about extending the pickup service to its offices.
Businesses and government offices can drop off white paper at the Juneau Recycling Center at 5600 Tonsgard Court on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"It benefits the community by sending it away from the landfill," Allison said. "We want to make it as easy as possible because we realize there is a significant volume (of paper) out there."
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.