Stash that trash in the recycling bin when you can

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published November 3, 2015

 A truck dumps recyclables at the South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority facility in Troy.

A truck dumps recyclables at the South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority facility in Troy.

Photo by Sean Work

Did you know that the city of Troy makes money on the stuff you toss in your recycle bin?

In observance of America Recycles month in November, Mayor Dane Slater read a proclamation at the Oct. 26 Troy City Council meeting to raise awareness and encourage residents and businesses in Troy to recycle.

“From July 2014 to June 2015, the city of Troy recycled 4,566 tons of glass, paperboard, cardboard, newspaper, metal, tin and plastic, and 9,173 tons of compost. Well done,” Slater said.

Recycling expert Pam Brady, volunteer for the South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority Recycling Committee, said she’s approached the city for the last 10 years for the proclamation in observance of America Recycles.

“I want to make my fellow residents aware about recycling, that it’s not a fad … it’s an eco thing,” she said. “It feels good and is good.”

Brady noted that SOCRRA now accepts Styrofoam, except for packing peanuts. She said Kinkos, UPS and the Mail Store will accept the packing peanuts, and “they will reuse those peanuts.”

She said the SOCRRA recycling facility now accepts household hazardous waste and electronics without an appointment at the west end of the facility at 995 Coolidge, south of Maple.

“Staff will even unload it for you. All you have to do is show proof of SOCRRA community residency.

“Trash costs us and recycling pays us,” she added.

Councilman Dave Henderson explained that SOCRRA rebates the city $35 for each ton of recycled items, which resulted in a $159,000 rebate and a disposal cost savings of $123,000 for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

“We are definitely looking at a single stream by the end of 2017,” said Emily Fronterra, Troy’s refuse and recycling coordinator.    That would mean that residents would place recyclable items in one large container. Currently, paper is placed in a separate bin.

In celebration of America Recycles, SOCRRA will offer tours of the facility noon-3 p.m. Nov. 15.

Attendees may bring Styrofoam — not packing peanuts — and see how much of the material it takes to fill up a 40-foot shipping container. People can bring small metal items — such as staples, paper clips, and nuts and bolts — to see how much it takes to fill a 5-gallon bucket.

Karen Bever, executive assistant and recycling educator for SOCRRA, said that if someone isn’t quite sure if something is OK to throw in the recycling bin, “throw it in.” She noted that the items are sorted, and currently, only 3 percent of items in bins must be removed.

“Check on our website,” she said. “If you are not sure and think maybe — throw it in,” Bever said.  

The SOCRRA website is www.socrra.org.

Fronterra said there will be a Bin Blitz throughout November, when recycling bins will be available for half price, $6, at the Treasurer’s Office in City Hall, 500 W. Big Beaver Road, or at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Road.