Single bin recycling set to start

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

A new recycling program is about to arrive at the driveway of Pierce County residents.

Beginning next week, residents will receive a 96-gallon recycle bin that will hold most recycling material, including mixed paper, cardboard, cans and plastic with an opening smaller than the base. Paper milk and juice cartons will also be accepted.

"We're trying to increase the recycling margin," said Keith Kovalenko, district manager for DM Disposal. "We are hoping for better mixed-paper results. A lot of people have not been recycling mixed paper and we see it around the neighborhoods."

The Pierce County Council passed an ordinance converting the county from a three-bin recycling program to a single cart program.

According to Kovalenko, the increase for each household will be about $1.67 per month. The increase has to be approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission before the rate can go into effect.

While the single cart program is easier for residents in most respects, glass will need to be recycled separately.

Kovalenko noted when glass breaks the shards damage the processing equipment and are an injury hazard.

People will need to take their glass recyclables to drop-off sites. On the Plateau, glass recycling sites are at Bonney Lake Supermarket, 18318 state Route 410; Rose's IGA, 29393 SR 410 in Buckley; and the Prairie Ridge Transfer Station, 22400 South Prairie Road East.

The new recycling program is not only easier for residents in most respects, Kovalenko said, it should be an improvement for drivers and collectors.

"Ergonomically it is much better for the drivers," Kovalenko said. "When those newspapers got wet and drivers had to lift them over their head it was a problem. This new system should help out with less injuries and increase longevity of their careers."

DM Disposal or Murrey's Disposal Company has purchased 10 new trucks for the recycle program. The fleet is automated with mechanical arms that lift and empty the carts.

"The drivers won't have to lift," Kovalenko said. "They will just roll the carts across the street."

Some of the yard waste trucks are already automated and Kovalenko said garbage will likely follow the trend.

Once the cart is received, the resident should begin using it immediately.

DM intends to have all the carts delivered by March 1 on the Plateau.

Across east Pierce County, DM will deliver more than 60,000 recycle carts to its customers. It plans to have all of its customers converted by the end of May.

The three recycle bins used in the previous program may be kept or left at staffed recycling stations.

More information is available at

Dennis Box can be reached at

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