Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 5, 2005

Five-sort recycling starts Oct. 1 in Winsted, Lester Prairie

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

The City of Winsted amended its contract with Waste Management Tuesday to show that the company will now be turning its recyclables over to the McLeod County Solid Waste Management Department.

An agreement was reached between McLeod County and Waste Management recently that will make Waste Management the hauler of recyclables, which will then be taken to the county’s recycling facility in Hutchinson for processing.

McLeod County Solid Waste Director Ed Homan said he hopes to have all cities within McLeod County onboard with the program by December. He noted Winsted was the fourth city he and Sheldon Swensen of Waste Management have visited since the two have reached an agreement.

It was noted that no surrounding county has its own solid waste facility, and discussion took place as to whether Homan will solicit additional recyclables from outside the county.

“There’s always that possibility to gain additional materials,” Homan said.

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 1, both the cities of Winsted and Lester Prairie will begin the five-sort program, according to Homan.

“These two cities will lead the way for the rest of the county when it comes to implementing the county’s recycling program,” he added.

The five sorts include:

• Glass – all colored and clear glass bottles and jars placed into paper bags. No dishes, ceramics, pottery, mirrors, or window glass.

• Plastics – number one and number two plastics placed into plastic or paper bags. No motor oil or pesticide containers holding hazardous product or residue.

• Aluminum and steel – place aluminum and steel cans in plastic or paper bags. No aerosol or pressurized cans, or tin foil.

• Paper – all newspaper, magazines, catalogs, and phone books may be stacked in the blue bin, or placed in a plastic or paper bag.

• Boxes/paper – food and beverage boxes, gift boxes, shoe boxes, office paper, junk mail, folders, sticky notes, notebooks, card stock, shredded paper, egg cartons, envelopes, and cardboard.

Cardboard must be reduced to 3-feet-by-3-feet sheets or less to be picked up curb side. Cardboard can be set outside the blue recycling bin as long as it’s tied together securely.

During the transition period to five-sort recycling, a yellow tag will be placed in the recycling bin if something is found wrong within the curbside recyclables.

Waste Management and McLeod County have already begun running advertising and public service announcements to get the word out about the change in recycling, and both Swensen and Homan view this as a partnership between the two entities.

Swensen also noted a city clean-up day will take place each year as a part of the new agreement.

The amendment also extended the term of the contract by another five years, to 2012. Any additional rate increases must be approved by the city, it was noted. Waste Management is not requesting a residential rate increase at this time.

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