Changes coming for Walla Walla curbside recycling

Larger, wheeled containers will be delivered citywide, and a private hauler will start pickups Feb. 1.

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WALLA WALLA -- Changes to the city's curbside recycling program will bring larger, wheeled recycling bins to residents, and take effect Feb. 1. City officials are launching the new, automated service as a more efficient and convenient way for residents to recycle, according to a news release.

As part of the switch, residents will receive new 96-gallon wheeled carts to replace the 16-gallon bins that have been in use the last 12 years.

The new use of a side-loading truck to pick up recyclables will also eliminate the need for crews to pick up and empty recycling containers by hand.

The bigger, weather-resistant containers will be delivered to residents starting Jan. 18, with the smaller recycling bins to be used through the end of the month. The new containers will not be picked up until the week of Feb. 1, when the service is to be taken over by Basin Disposal Inc.

As part of the switch, residents are asked to place garbage and recycling containers at least three feet apart to allow room for the trucks automated arms to grab containers without knocking the other over.

The city's curbside recycling service is offered to residents of single-family homes and multi-family residences up to 10 units. Residents pay $3.64 per month for the service, according to the city's Public Works Web site. Basin Disposal is replacing the city's sanitation crew to conduct the curbside recycling pickup.

Recycling will be picked up weekly on the same day as garbage, including in annexed areas where recycling has been picked up on different days.

The switch will not change the type of items that can be collected, but will change the volume of items that can be collected each week. In some cases, residents may be able to wait a week or two before placing the filled bin at the curb, resulting in fewer stops by crews and an ultimate savings, according to the news release.

Customers should expect to see information in the mail explaining the switch and detailing the types of materials acceptable for recycling.

City officials are hopeful the switch will encourage more residents to recycle, and encourage others to recycle more.

"This change to automated service has been a long-awaited improvement to our collection system," said Tom Purcell, the city's Public Works Operations Superintendent, in a news release. "We look forward to offering a more convenient and comprehensive approach to waste management for our residential customers."

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

Walla Walla residents will see new, 96-gallon wheeled recycling containers replace their 16-gallon containers starting Jan. 18. Customers can start placing the new containers beside their trash cans starting Feb. 1, as the city switches to an automated curbside pickup through Basin Disposal Inc.

The public can view the new containers at City Hall, the Walla Walla Public Library, and the city's Service Center starting Jan. 11.

Questions about when your recycling will be picked up should be directed to the city's sanitation division at 527-4479.

Glass will still be excluded from pick-up, as well as Styrofoam containers. Residents are again reminded to keep even small amounts of non-recyclable materials out of the recycling bins. Residents can call 524-4503 for clarification on items or to learn about other disposal and recycling options.

More specific information on acceptable recyclable materials is also available on the city's Web site at www.ci.walla-walla.wa.us.

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