In less than two months, you will start seeing green curbside containers with yellow lids dotting the roadside in Opelika. These will be the new curbside recycling containers.
Keep Opelika Beautiful has purchased 500 containers to jumpstart the curbside program. All households in Opelika that currently receive garbage pickup are eligible to enroll in this program. The recyclable commodities that you dispose of at the drop-off centers throughout Opelika can be placed in the curbside containers. These items include all plastic containers. It is best to rinse the containers and crush them.
Hypothetically, if it’s August and you didn’t rinse a milk jug before you put it in your car with your recyclables and forgot about it until you got off work, you would always remember to rinse first. Not that I know from experience!
Cardboard can also be placed in the curbside recycling container. We do strongly urge you to flatten cardboard so it does not jam your container when emptied. You will be amazed how much can fit in these containers if everything is crushed or flattened.
Another item that will be accepted is paper items such as junk mail, newspaper, office paper and magazines. If you are just starting to recycle paper, I think you will be amazed at how much paper you throw away. I promise your trash bags will be much lighter. Aluminum and steel cans will also be accepted in the curbside recycling program. To sign up for the subscription service, visit www.opelika.org or call the Solid Waste Department at 705-5480. The only information you will need to give is your name, address, garbage pickup day and email address. The $10 monthly recycling fee will be added to your monthly garage bill, circulated by Opelika Power Services.
When the program begins, your new and clean curbside container will be delivered to your house. Throughout the week, your family will place all recyclable commodities in the container. There is no reason to bag the items, items should be loose. Every other Friday, you will roll the container to the curb. A truck, similar to a garbage truck will automatically collect the recyclables. When the truck is full, it will transport the recyclables commodities to Pratt Industry in Columbus, Georgia. This facility uses conveyer belts, scales, magnets and shredders to separate recyclables.
Once a large amount of items are collected, the items are baled and sold to a variety of companies for reprocessing. If you are interested in seeing how this system works, there are several YouTube videos. Search for Columbus, Georgia Recycling Center.
We are still working towards our goal of having 1,000 households in Opelika participate in curbside recycling. This week, we sent flyers home with all students in Opelika City Schools. Soon you will notice advertisement in this newspaper. We appreciate your help in spreading the word about this exciting program coming to Opelika.
Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at email@example.com.