Drop-off recycling containers in Rock Island County area have been hit hard by residents dumping non-recyclable materials. Unwanted yard waste, large kids toys, bags of garbage, and home repair debris have been tossed into the recycling bins. The six-year old program recycles roughly 200 tons per month of paper products and mixed materials, such as plastics, metal and glass. Of this amount, there have been spikes of over 20% being residue or garbage. Residue is landfilled and these costs paid by Rock Island County Waste Agency (RICWMA) at rates higher than the cost of recycling. "Education is the key to cleaning up the drop-off recyclables problem" says Gena McCullough, RICWMA staff coordinator.
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 the Rock Island County. The communities of East Moline, Milan, Moline and Rock Island continue hosting 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.
City Carton Recycling is contracted by RICWMA to process and recycle plastics, glass, metal and paper products including cardboard and box board. RICWMA administers the program and pays the cost of recycling through its solid waste fee assessed at the landfills in Rock Island County. 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.
The regional collection sites include :
- East Moline - 901 42nd Avenue at Fire Station and 1200 13th Avenue at City Engineering and Maintenance Services Facility
- Milan - 451 W. 4th Street
- Moline - 3635 4th Avenue at Public Works Department
- Rock Island - 16th Avenue and 24th Street at Water Treatment Plant
All residents living in Rock Island County can use any one of five regional drop-off recycling sites within Rock Island County. Recyclable materials are collected from each site through a two-stream process.
Separate containers are provided for a mixture of washed and clean:
- Plastics #1-7 (milk jugs, detergent, shampoo & liter bottles, food containers, etc.)
- Tin cans and aluminum cans
- Glass of green, brown and clear colors
Separate containers will be provided for a mixture of fiber, including:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Chipboard or boxboard
- Mixed office paper
- Brown paper bags
Unacceptable items or garbage include aerosol cans, any liquids, appliances, ashes, building materials or scraps, ceramic plates and cups, clothing, electronics, furniture, 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 is outlined in the 2008 Waste Resource Directory mailed to all residents in December or on the agency website.
The regional drop-off recycling program in Rock Island County and has helped reach the 25% reduction goal set by the State of Illinois. The 2008 recycling rate is estimated at 30.9%.
For more information, Rock Island County residents can contact RICMWA at (309) 788-8925 or visit the website at www.ricwma.org.