MARQUETTE - Residents of the City of Negaunee will be enjoying a new recycling program as the city has agreed to participate in the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority's program.
"Instead of having a number of ineffective recycling programs, we're pulling together the resources of the entire county, which will allow all 22 municipalities who are owners of the Solid Waste Authority to participate if they would like," said Rick Aho, director of the MCSWMA.
The new program requires its participants to put out only certain recycling on certain weeks.
A pile of plastic jugs are ready to be processed inside the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority. The organization is hoping to grow its current recycling program to reach all 22 municipalities that own a stake in the authority. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority Director Rick Aho moves a bale of recyclable paper products with a fork lift. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
The recyclable items are broken up into two categories: fibers and rigids.
Fibers include paper, magazines, newsprint, cardboard - virtually anything made from paper fiber.
Rigids include plastic (such as milk jugs or water bottles), glass and metal. However, plastics such as plastic bags or plastic wrap will not be accepted.
Every week will be designated either as a fiber or a rigids week. Customers who leave the wrong type of recycling out on the curb will wake up to find it's still there the next morning.
"In order to do this with our equipment, we need to do this stuff every other week," Aho said. "Every other week they put out a certain type of recycling. It gives us a better quality material."
Better quality material translates into a better product to sell, as the items are processed at the MCSWMA's facilities on Marquette County Road NP before being shipped off to other facilities that buy them.
Aho said 60 percent of the revenue made from the sale of the recyclable items will be returned to municipalities participating in the program. The more that participate, he said, the higher the revenue stream.
"The businesses we're working with, we're looking at diverting 90 percent of what they produce into a revenue stream," Aho said. "In the long run, we'll break even on that from the municipalities, where you get curbside recycling. There's revenue available with that and we take some of it to invest in the system. The rest goes back to the municipalities to offset their hauling costs, or do whatever they want."
Other municipalities, such as Tilden Township, also participate in the program, but do not have curb side pick-up. Rather, they use a trailer provided to them by the MCSWMA. Once the trailer is full, it's brought back to the facility and swapped out for an empty one.
Residents with curb side pick-up with questions on which week is a fiber week and which is a rigid week can call the MCSWMA at 249-4125.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.