Clawson, Hazel Park face off in May recycling challenge

By: Robert Guttersohn | Royal Oak Review | Published April 30, 2013

CLAWSON — For the month of May, the cities of Clawson and Hazel Park will be squaring off in a recycling competition.

The competition, which is overseen by the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority, will determine the winning city by the percentage increase of tons recycled compared to May 2012.

Last May, Hazel Park defeated Huntington Woods in the challenge and this year Hazel Park is challenging Clawson.

Hazel Park collected 89,284 pounds of recyclables over four collection dates in May 2012 for an 11 percent increase during May 2011.

The winning city gets a trophy, bragging rights and the chance to challenge another SOCRRA city next year. Further, the city that recycles more gets more money in the form of rebates from SOCRRA.

“Whatever SOCRRA takes in from our city transfers into money that we get paid for,” said Doug Ballard, the Clawson Department of Public Works and Engineering superintendent.

Karen Bever, the executive assistant and recycling educator at SOCRRA, said the authority actually pays the cities $50 per ton of recyclables. In comparison, cities pay SOCRRA $27.50 for each ton of trash. Essentially, every ton of recyclables a city brings to the county is a more-than $77 turnaround.

Ballard said this is Clawson’s first time in the challenge. Residents can either recycle curbside or bring recyclable materials directly to the SOCRRA drop-off center at 995 Coolidge Highway in Troy.

Extra recycling bins can be picked up for $7 at the DPW building at 635 W. Elmwood Ave.

SOCRRA is made up of the 12 communities in southeast Oakland County.

So far this fiscal year, Clawson has turned in more than 556 tons of recyclable material, according to SOCRRA. Meanwhile, Hazel Park has turned in 420 tons of recyclable materials.