Atmore city officials announced this week that the municipal recycling program that was discontinued in late October will resume on Monday, March 12, but with several changes.
The collection site has been relocated, new hours and new procedures have been put in place, and more items than before will be accepted.
“We had to have two trailers built, and the mayor picked the second one up last Friday (Feb. 23),” Celia Lambert, administrative assistant to Mayor Jim Staff, said. “Right now, all we’re waiting for is the sign and to get everything set up.”
Recyclable materials — including glass, plastic and light metals — will have to be placed in green bags that are furnished by the city and marked “Recycling Only.”
Glass, plastic, aluminum, tin and paper items may be put into the bag together, but cardboard should be kept separate.
The collection trailers will be located at the city’s public works headquarters, 412 East Ridgeley Street, and recyclables will be accepted between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays.
“We couldn’t take glass, tin or aluminum before, but we can now,” Lambert said. “People are going to have a green bag to put their recycling in. When they drop off a bag at the street department, they’ll get another bag. They can mix all the items together, but cardboard needs to be separated.”
And while most plastic items will be accepted for recycling, one in particular won’t.
“We won’t be accepting plastic shopping bags, like you get at grocery and other stores,” Lambert said. “If those bags are taken to the processing center, they get caught in the conveyor belts, and that puts a kink in the whole process.”
Styrofoam will not be accepted, either, she said, noting that “it can’t be recycled.”
The public is also asked to clean all food and drink containers before placing them in the recycling bags in order to eliminate contamination and to help keep costs downs. Public works employees will conduct spot checks to make sure that only allowable materials are inside the bags.
Although no recyclables will be accepted until March 12, residents may begin to stop by the Public Works Department on Monday, March 5, to pick up a green bag.
Lambert admitted that resumption of the program has been a long time coming, and that many people had given up hope that it would be.
“I know it’s been inconvenient and disheartening,” she said. “I know that some people gave up and started putting (recyclables) in the trash. But we’ve made some improvements, so I think it will be a lot better. We want folks to help us reduce the environmental impact of waste products on our community.”
What can be recycled?
The city of Atmore will accept the following items for recycling:
Glass (any color)
Newspapers and inserts
Magazines and catalogs
Junk mail and envelopes
Colored paper (including wrapping paper)
Plastic milk jugs (clean)
Pizza boxes (clean)
Tin/steel cans and lids
Foil baking pans (clean)
Metal pots and pans
Cardboard egg cartons
Plastic bottles (clean)
Pet food cans
Dry pet food bags
Plastics (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
Plastic produce clamshells recyclable
What can’t be recycled?
The city of Atmore will not accept the following items for recycling:
Empty plastic bags
Waxy paper food containers (milk/ice cream cartons, etc.)