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Drop-off sites will be for glass only

HANNA MARTENS/ Durango Herald

Don Haynes recycles his paper and cardboard Wednesday behind north City Market. As of July 29, only glass recycling containers will be at the location.

By Jim Haug Herald staff writer

Beginning July 29, the recycling drop-off sites behind the north City Market and Wagon Wheel Liquors downtown will convert to glass-only locations, remaining convenient for beer and wine bottles but nothing else.

Nonglass recyclables must then be taken to the Durango Recycling Center, 710 Tech Center Drive, where noncity residents will be charged $1 to drop off up to a 60-gallon container worth of materials, such as plastics, paper and aluminum.

People using the Recycling Center will be asked for ID to determine if they are Durango residents. People who recently moved to Durango can show a utility bill or library card to prove residency.

City residents won’t be charged at the Recycling Center. All city residents already are billed $3 a month for single-stream recycling. Commercial recyclable material will be accepted for a minimum of $2 per cubic yard.

City residents who want to avoid going to the Recycling Center can sign up for the single-stream containers at www.durangorecycles.com.

Mary Beth Miles, the city’s sustainability coordinator, told City Council on Tuesday that 66 percent – or 2,950 – Durango households are in the expanded recycling program that began in February. A new batch of containers is scheduled to be delivered the week of July 15.

Residents can throw a random assortment of recyclables into the new bins, except for glass, which can shatter and contaminate the load. The recyclables are compacted into bales to be dissembled later and sold as commodities.

Because the city does not pick up glass items, it is keeping the drop-sites available behind north City Market and Wagon Wheel.

Miles said Fort Lewis College will continue to have a recycling drop-off site at its physical plant, but the site is intended for the campus community.

In a new service, beginning Aug. 3, the city plans to take electronics from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Saturday at the Recycling Center.

“Hopefully, it will provide a better option rather than having a biannual event (for electronics recycling),” Miles said.

The city has been pleased by the amount of electronics it has collected in these drives, getting between 100,000 to 110,000 pounds of electronics in the spring.

Miles said it was “consistent with what we collected in the fall 2012 event, which was Durango’s largest collection since the inception of the event in 2004. So we hope to continue that momentum.”

In response to questions from the public, Miles said the city’s electronics vendors are industry certified.

They erase the hard drives of computers as part of their service.


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