Beginning October 1, 2009, the drop-off recycling program in Rock Island County will no longer take glass. The six-year old program recycles roughly 200 tons per month of paper products and mixed materials, such as plastics, metal and glass. However, current economic conditions have resulted in poorer glass recycling markets, higher transportation costs and too great a cost to process glass, nearly tripling the cost of processing from the current price.
"It was a tough Board decision because glass has been an integral part of the drop-off program," said Gena McCullough, Rock Island County Waste Management Agency (RICWMA) Staff Coordinator. By weight, glass represents 14-15% of the recycling volume. The drop-off program began in 2003 to reduce landfilling of recyclable products, promote recycling, encourage reuse and purchasing recycled content materials, and improve the quality of the environment in Rock Island County. Since 2003, over 17,000 tons have been diverted from the landfill.
City Carton Recycling was awarded a new five year contract by RICWMA to process and recycle plastics, metal and paper products including cardboard and box board. Processing costs will rise from the current $36.75 per ton to $42 per ton in the first year, increasing annually to account for inflation over the five year term. RICWMA administers the program and pays the cost of recycling through its solid waste fee assessed at the landfills in Rock Island County.
The regional collections sites include :
- East Moline: 307 - 42nd Avenue at the fire station and 1200 - 13th Avenue at the city's Engineering and Maintenance Service Facility.
- Milan: 451 West 4th Street
- Moline: 3635 - 4th Avenue at the Public Works Department
- Rock Island: 16th Avenue and 24th Street at the Water Treatment Plant
The communities of East Moline, Milan, Moline and Rock Island continue to host regional drop-off recycling collection sites as part of the program sponsored by RICWMA, a consortium of local governments in Rock Island County. The program has been an excellent example of intergovernmental cooperation and cost effectiveness.
All residents living in Rock Island County can use any one of the five regional drop-off recycling sites within the county. Recyclable materials are collected from each site through a two stream process. To retain a viable recycling program, clean recyclable material is needed and highly valued. With the downturn in the economy, marketing the best and cleanest recyclables helps retain jobs and allows the recycling industry to thrive.
Separate containers are provided for a mixture of plastics and metal containers, washed and clean, including:
- Plastics #1-#5 and #7 (milk jugs, detergent, shampoo & liter bottles, food containers, etc.)
- Steel cans and aluminum cans
Separate containers willl be provided for a mixture of fiber, including:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Chipboard or box board
- Mixed office paper
- Brown paper bags
Unacceptable items or garbage include glass, aerosol cans, any liquids, appliances, ashes, building materials or scraps, ceramic plates and cups, clothing, electronics, fiurniture, garbage, paint cans, plastic bags, Styrofoam, tires, toys, windows and mirrors, and yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, sticks and brush. A full description of what not to toss in the recycling bins is outlined on the agency website at www.ricwma.org
As part of the "no glass" restriction, City Carton Recycling is offering a recycling option for glass to be dropped off at their facility in Davenport. Beginning October 1st, residents of Rock Island County can take their glass to City Carton Recycling, 4002 Kimmel Drive in the Davenport Industrial Park off of Rockingham Road and West River Drive. Glass must be separated clear from colored. The alternative is to throw glass away with the rest of their residential garbage.
For more information, Rock Island County residents can contact RICWMA at 309-788-8925 or visit their website at www.ricwma.org.