The Corpus Christi solid waste collection company is expected to have its automated collection trucks working Beeville streets the week of Jan. 2.
Information on collection dates for the blue-topped trash toters and the green-topped recycling toters explained which dates each customer should have the trash receptacle and the recycling receptacles on the street next to the curb.
Mike Reeves, municipal marketing manager for Republic, said residents are urged to place their toters in the same location where they were found in the day of delivery.
In most cases, that will be on the street and next to the curb.
On days when both the trash and recycling containers are to be emptied, they should be placed three to four feet apart to give the collection trucks room to operate.
There will be no employees working on the back of the trucks starting Jan. 2. All toters will be picked up automatically by equipment installed on the trucks. So the proper placement of the 96-gallon containers will be important. If the truck driver is not able to pick up and empty the toter with the equipment on the vehicle, the containers will not be emptied.
Regular trash pickup will be one day a week, starting on Jan. 2 – not twice a week.
Information contained in the toters at the time of their delivery showed what those days will be in the future, depending on the neighborhood.
Recycling containers will be emptied twice a month. Those collection dates were also included in the information.
Republic Sales Manager Brian Cornelius said that, hopefully, residents held onto those information sheets. One of the sheets had a calendar with the dates for recyclable collection colored in on them.
The recycling effort will be a great benefit to Beeville residents, according to Cornelius and Reeves.
The two were in Beeville Tuesday, and they said that in every area where recycling has been introduced, the amount of refuse going into the landfills has been cut dramatically.
That will extend the lives of landfills used by communities that have recycling programs.
Many of the items now sent to the landfill from Beeville will end up in Republic’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Corpus Christi.
The facility is what allows Republic’s customers to practice what the industry calls “single stream recycling.”
What that means is that anything deemed recyclable by Republic may be disposed of in the 96-gallon containers with the green lids. Residents no longer have to sort recyclable materials into separate bins before they can be picked up by the company.
Specially designed machines and Republic employees will separate the items at the MRF.
Metals, like steel, tin and aluminum drink and food cans, plastic milk, soda and detergent bottles, newspapers, magazines, cereal and cracker boxes and corrugated cardboard will all be accepted at the MRF.
Republic asks that customers rinse out any cans or bottles before they are placed in the recycling toters.
That is because the recycling toters will be emptied only twice a month instead of weekly. If cans or bottles that still contain food or beverages are allowed to sit in a container for materials to be recycled, the product inside them can decay and cause odor problems in the toters.
Those cans and bottles can also make the job of the employees working at the MRF rather undesirable.
Styrofoam, glass, plastic bags, ceramics, garden hoses, food scraps, cloth, diapers, batteries, electronics, rubber balls and clothes hangers will not be allowed in the recyclable containers.
Reeves said he has been told by City Hall officials that some residents started putting their household trash on the curb in the new toters as soon as they were delivered.
Because the toters weigh about 45 pounds empty, Republic employees have not been able to collect that trash and garbage. Emptying the containers will require the mechanized equipment on the company’s new trucks.
Also, toters placed in enclosures that once held regular trash cans will not be emptied, because the equipment on the trucks is not made to pick up containers from inside those enclosures.
Cornelius said large, bulk items placed curbside will no longer be picked up by Republic. But the company has installed a special compactor at the citizens’ collection site at the city’s equipment yard on South Jackson Street, where large items like furniture and appliances can be dumped.
Any appliance that contains a refrigerant (freon) must have the refrigerant removed and must be properly tagged by someone certified to remove that material.
Cornelius said toters should not be left on the street except on collection days. Residents should take them back to the residence and put them in a safe location other days of the week.
That eliminates the possibility that the containers could be damaged and makes for a cleaner-looking neighborhood.
Also, some commercial businesses may want to change the way they have their wastes picked up in the future. Some businesses may be better off using the toters, but others may want to contact Republic’s Customer Services Department at 1-800-640-2014 and arrange to have a dumpster delivered.
For instance, businesses that discard a lot of packing material, like large corrugated cardboard containers, may want to recycle that material rather than have it discarded in the company’s landfills.
City Code Compliance Official Ronald “Buddy” Hardy said the new system will be easier for most residents.
“You won’t have to bag your trash now,” he said. Everything can be dumped into the trash and garbage toter, including small yard wastes.
That includes branches and limbs that have been cut into small enough pieces to fit into the toter.
“I’m excited about our program,” Hardy said. “One thing is it’s going to save us a rate increase down the road and that’s a good thing. We’re rated to death.”
Cornelius said the new program also will bring a uniformity for the city’s neighborhoods. Instead of looking down a residential street on trash day and seeing an odd collection of cans, bags and other containers sitting in yards, there will be rows of matching, blue toters all set in the street next to the curb.
Republic employees and city officials believe Beeville residents will love the changes once they get used to them. Cornelius and Reeves said it is only a matter of time until all of South Texas is handling their trash, garbage and recyclable materials the same way.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.