After some questions and concerns by citizens and city officials alike leading up to the start of {mosimage}Fayetteville’s new trash recycling service, the success of the first week of recycling may just cause other communities to become “green” with envy over the city’s 75-80 percent participation rate.
    “It’s just wonderful,” said Fayetteville City Councilman Charles Evans. “I’ll admit I had some problems with it at first, but I can now say I’m very pleased with the participation of the residents.”
    Fayetteville City Councilman Keith Bates Sr. echoed Evans’ excitement about the participation of the city’s residents in the nascent program; however, he said the huge number of folks filling their blue recycling bins also created problems.
    “We completely underestimated the amount of participation,” said Bates, “and we shouldn’t have put out the delivery carts so early; I know mine was full when they picked it up, and as soon as it was emptied I just about filled it up again.
    “We had several citizens complain that their container was not picked up,” said Bates. “I apologized and said we’d get to them as soon as possible. This is new to us and new to Waste Management. But I know they are working hard — they picked up mine at 8 p.m. the first week and at 5 p.m. the next week. They’re working extra hours to get it done.”
    In addition to the high participation rate, the city’s residents are also doing it right: Jackie Tuckey, Fayetteville’s public information officer, said the recycled waste was “very clean,” with just small amounts of non-recyclable garbage placed in the bins.
    Tuckey said 287 tons of material were collected in the first week.
    The recycling program began July 7 for single family dwellings — multifamily dwellings must take their recyclables to one of seven  recycling sites: College Lakes Park, Ann Street Landfill, Massey Hill Recreation Center, Fire Station No. 17, the Cliffdale location, Fire Station No. 9, and Honeycutt Park. These sites accept plastic containers, newspapers and magazines.
    The annual fee for the service is $42, which will appear on the property owner’s tax bill around August. The recycling bins will hold 35 gallons and recyclables don’t need to be sorted.
    The following recyclables may be placed in the bins:
    •Newsprint with inserts and magazines;
    •Brown, clear and green glass containers;
    •Aluminum beverage containers;
    •Steel cans and plastic bottles;
    •Corrugated cardboard; {mosimage}
    •Office paper and residential mixed paper (junk mail, catalogs and paper board such as cereal/food boxes).
    The following cannot be recycled: sheet glass, mirrors, ceramics, china, plastic bags or cellophane film, styrofoam, soggy or waxed paper/cardboard, petroleum product containers such as oil quarts or oil jugs, plastic toys.
    The city is also stressing that the recycling containers be placed at least four feet from the curb so the trucks will have room to pick up the receptacle and tip it into the truck.
    “The trucks are manned by one employee who drives and operates the lift mechanism,” said Tuckey. “So it’s important that there is enough room for the truck to operate.”
    The city also requests that residents remove products (food, drinks, etc.) from the recyclables and rinse once; labels do not need to be removed.
    As the recycling service entered its second week, Fayetteville City Councilman D.J. Haire gushed about the early success of the program, lauding his own neighborhood for its “green” attitude.
    “I live in the Broadwell subdivision and I’m so proud of my own community, as well as the whole of Fayetteville, which has really embraced this,” said Haire. “It feels good to see them rolling those blue containers out to the curb.”
    Haire did add that he would like to see the addition of service for those physically unable to roll their recycling cart to the curb.{mosimage}
    “Some of the people who are physically unable to roll out their trash cans to the curb, they are also unable to roll out the recycling container,” said Haire. “I’d like something to be done for those folks. Other than that it’s turned out to be excellent for the city and its residents.”
    For information about the recycling program or to find out the schedule for the pickup dates, call 433-1329, or check out the city’s Web site at www.cityoffayetteville.org.

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