This is the new storage area for completed bales at the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority Material Recovery Facility in Troy.

This is the new storage area for completed bales at the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority Material Recovery Facility in Troy.

Photo provided by the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority

SOCRRA reveals updates, improved service, resident participation

By: Terry Oparka, Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published February 12, 2018

OAKLAND COUNTY/TROY — After dropping out for a few months, the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority Recycling Drop-off Center and Material Recovery Facility in Troy is open to residents in participating communities.

Participating SOCRRA communities are Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy.

The SOCRRA drop-off facility, 995 Coolidge Highway, south of Maple Road, remained closed to the public during renovations and only accepted hazardous waste and recyclable electronics on Saturdays while the Material Recovery Facility was retooled for single-stream processing. It is now fully operational.

Colette Farris, the organization development manager at SOCRRA, explained that it is a “whole new facility.”

The new equipment — sorting screens and stations, conveyor belts to move recyclables, and bunkers to store materials until they are ready to be bundled together into a bale — required extra space, taking over the area that once housed the Recycling Drop-off Center.

Farris explained that the cost for the upgrades, funded by SOCRRA communities as monthly charges spread out over 10 years, was $8 million. Specific amounts were not available and are based on the number of residents and the amount of usage.

“We anticipate higher than usual traffic (at first) at the Drop-Off Center,” Farris said. She urged everyone to be “mindful and considerate.”

That already seems to be the case in participating Eagle communities.

“In the village, our numbers have been up about 20 percent,” Beverly Hills Manager Chris Wilson said about recycling since SOCRRA distributed its new, larger bins last year. “The response to the new, larger carts has been generally positive. Residents are also very happy that the SOCRRA facility has now reopened to the general public.”

Lauren Wood, director of Birmingham Public Services, said the new carts — which are about three and a half times larger than the old model, with wheels and a heavy-duty attached lid — have improved recycling participation in the city by about 15 percent.

“Once the recycling carts were delivered to households, the overall sentiment was a big cheer,” she said.

According to the SOCRRA website, on average, SOCRRA recycles 13,000 tons of paper, plastic, metal and glass recyclables collected at the curb each year. At the curb, SOCRRA picks up newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail, boxboard, cardboard, drink boxes and milk cartons, all plastic containers, metal cans, and glass bottles and jars.

SOCRRA member communities earn a rebate for every ton of recyclables collected by SOCRRA, which offsets the cost to operate recycling and trash collection services.

Batteries, styrofoam — but not packing peanuts — plastic bags and scrap metal may be dropped off at the Recycling Drop-off Center. Those items should not be placed in the curbside recycling bins.

The drop-off center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Shredder hours are the same.

For more information on the SOCRRA Recycling Drop-off Center, visit