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Pulaski County to roll out curbside recycling in 2013

Pulaski County Curbside Recycling Truck

Congressman Hal Rogers, local officials and other supporters of recycling gathered Dec. 10 to unveil Pulaski County’s new curbside recycling program, which will begin in January 2013.

“Start recycling” will be a realistic New Year’s resolution for Pulaski County residents in 2013.In January, Pulaski County will roll out a single-stream, curbside recycling service — which will offer a level of convenience usually enjoyed only in large cities, such as Lexington and Louisville.

Pulaski County residents will be able to send items to be re-used in our economy just as easily as they send trash to be buried in a landfill. They will put all recyclables in one container (no sorting necessary) and then wheel it to the curb once a month on their scheduled day for recycling collection.

Curbside recycling was written into Pulaski County’s renewed contract with Waste Connections for solid waste collection. Waste Connections customers will not be charged for curbside recycling. In fact, the monthly residential rate will drop from $12.52 to $12.35, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Waste Connections will deliver a free 96-gallon recycle cart to every current residential customer in the county in January. The carts will contain an information bag to guide customers, including a refrigerator magnet with the 2013 collection schedule, which will begin Feb. 4.

The new recycling service was unveiled Dec. 10 at the Pulaski County Recycling Center. The audience saw the recycling carts and the recycling truck that soon will be common sites on local roads.

“Today, Pulaski County sets the standard that other Kentucky communities will strive to match in their solid waste management programs,” Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5) said. “I commend Gerald Hines for his leadership, and I thank Waste Connections for their support in making this happen.”

“PRIDE has changed the mindset of a generation,” Rogers added. “Today, our children are helping to educate their parents and grandparents about the value of being environmentally friendly. It’s important our children practice what they learn in school and recycling at home is important for their future. Recycling saves natural resources, supplies our manufacturers with affordable materials and reduces the energy used in production.”

“The new curbside recycling program will be of great benefit to the citizens of Pulaski County,” Judge-Executive Barty Bullock said. “From an economic standpoint, curbside recycling has already created four new jobs at Waste Connections. My hope is that the program generates enough volume for that number of jobs to increase, both at Waste Connections and at the Solid Waste and Recycling Center. I want to thank everyone, in advance, for participating and helping to reduce waste in our county.”

“We are very pleased to be part of this ground-breaking service in Pulaski County, and we hope it will be a model that spurs recycling in other Kentucky communities,” said David Wiggins, Waste Connections Division Vice President. “Our company began in western states where customers expect sustainability, so recycling has long been a top priority in our business plan.”

“This curbside service is possible because Pulaski County has invested in a top-notch recycling center that will sort and market the recyclables,” Wiggins said.

“We opened the Recycling Center in September of 2007, and we have grown every year,” Pulaski County Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Gerald Hines said. “We started out recycling 200,000 pounds annually, and now we are recycling over 4.5 million pounds per year.”

“Meade, Bell, Boone, Henderson and Adair County officials, and officials from other counties and cities, have toured our facility to get ideas for starting or enhancing their own recycling centers,” Hines added.

To fund the steady expansion of the recycling center, Hines has obtained $817,160 in state grants to pay for equipment. The Pulaski County Solid Waste Board, with support from the Fiscal Court, covers the facility and personnel costs. The Pulaski County Recycling Center is a regional operation, allowing Pulaski and surrounding counties to recycle on a scale that would not be possible on their own.

Hines estimates 2,500 residential customers currently drop off items at the recycling center, and he will continue to accept drop offs. Active participants in the center’s recycling service include 25 schools, 300 businesses, Congressman Rogers’ District Office, Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Judicial Center, City of Somerset, City of Burnside, City of Eubank, City of Ferguson, City of Science Hill, and Clinton County.

The new curbside recycling service initially will have 12,000 residential customers and 500 commercial customers, all current customers of Waste Connections.

To become a Waste Connections customer or to learn more about recycling options in Pulaski County, please call Hines at 677.0320.

“Just 15 years ago, our region led the state in illegal dumps, but now one of our counties leads the state in recycling,” Rogers reflected. “When we started PRIDE in 1997, we set out to clean up dumps and educate people to dispose of trash properly. Since then, we’ve cleaned 2,875 dumps, 25,000-plus volunteers pick up litter each year, and our region’s landscape is the showcase it should be. We’ve come along way.”

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