LaGrange to pick up recycling weekly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

By Tyler H. Jones

Metro Creative Connection

LaGRANGE — Demand for the city’s new curbside recycling program has been so high that collections will increase from every other week to weekly, officials said Tuesday.

Weekly collection is set to begin Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, and will be picked up the same day garbage is collected, according to Ronnie Cantrell, the city’s public works operations manager.

“I’m impressed,” he said. “At first, I was a little bit skeptical, but we’ve had a pretty good response.”

About 600 homes have signed up for the free program, and the city has ordered an additional 600 recycling cans for future subscribers, he added.

About 9,200 homes across LaGrange use curbside garbage pick up, and Cantrell said that the “sweet spot” for recycling program participation is about 15 percent, or 1,200 homes.

The move to weekly recycling pick up comes after several program participants called the city wanting to know if they could have a second recycling can, Cantrell said.

Currently, city workers pick up about 7,000 pounds of recyclables each week, and the refuse is taken to the city’s recycling center on South Davis Road where it is sorted to be sold.

“That’s 7,000 pounds that doesn’t end up in the landfill,” Cantrell said.

Using a method called “single-stream recycling,” all recyclables but glass — including metal, plastic, paper and cardboard — can be thrown in the recycle bins and the city will pick them up for free.

Residents can have a recycling bin delivered to their home for free — but it comes with a catch. At a cost of about $50 each, the city wants to make sure those who ask for the cans actually follow through and use them. Residents who ask for a can and fail use it will be billed the $50 cost of the can.

Each year, LaGrange residents throw out about 22 million pounds of garbage, equivalent to the weight of 30 Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

The city’s recycling program costs about $80,000 per year, which is about 0.07 percent of the city’s $110 million yearly budget.

To sign up for free curbside recycling, call the city’s public works department at 706-883-2023.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.