By BRONWYN PATTERSON NICKEL
Friday, Nov. 15, marks America Recycles Day, a nationwide event sponsored by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful to promote awareness and outreach of area recycling programs. Locally, the Blaine County Board of Commissioners has officially proclaimed Nov. 15 America Recycles Day in Blaine County. 5B Recycles, Blaine County’s recycling program, is deeply appreciative of the board’s commitment to our environment and their on-going support of our recycling program.
This fall marks one year since the changes to Blaine County’s recycling program were enacted, with the move to a three-bin system for curbside pickup, removal of glass collection for residential pickup, and expansion of items collected at the Ohio Gulch Recycle Center. The one-year mark gives us the opportunity to pause and discuss a few of the myths about recycling in Blaine County:
- Myth No. 1—Glass dropped off in collection sites is thrown away in the landfill anyway. 5B Recycles and a recycling committee made up of local partners made the decision to stop picking up glass at residential curbside due to contamination and risk of injury to our employees. However, glass is still accepted at six different drop-off locations around the county, and businesses have the option of having glass picked up at the business. To arrange for glass pickup at your business, contact Clear Creek Disposal at 726-9600. Glass is brought to Ohio Gulch, crushed, and placed in an inert pit and used as filler. When placed in one of our drop-off locations or picked up by Clear Creek, glass does not go into the landfill.
- Myth No. 2—There is no way to recycle if you live in a multi-family dwelling. Many apartment and condominium complexes do offer recycling, and we suggest you check with your property management company or HOA to ensure what is offered. If collection bins are not offered for your property, you can contact Clear Creek at 726-9600 for individual curbside pickup, or take recyclable items to our seven different drop-off locations free of charge.
- Myth No. 3—Someone sorts the recycling at the Recycle Center, so there is no need for me to sort recyclable items. While larger cities are increasing moving to single-stream recycle systems, Blaine County has chosen to continue with our multi-bin system. Single-steam systems, while convenient for consumers, often produce contaminated product. We are proud to consistently provide clean, sellable product to our wholesalers, and we thank our customers for sorting plastics No. 1-5, aluminum/tin and mixed paper.
- Myth No. 4—Recycling is expensive. All recyclable items are accepted free of charge at the Ohio Gulch Recycle Center Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Glass and cardboard are accepted free of charge at seven different drop-offs around the county. In Hailey, curbside recycling is included in the cost with your other city-provided utilities and residents can simply put out bins on trash collection day. In Carey, Bellevue, Ketchum, Sun Valley and in the county limits there is a nominal fee for recycling pickup, and we encourage you to contact Clear Creek Disposal at 726-9600 for specific pricing.
5B Recycles is very appreciative of our partners that make recycling successful in Blaine County—residents, Clear Creek Disposal and Southern Idaho Solid Waste. Look for our information displays around town all week leading up American Recycles Day, and know that each time you separate your recyclables, we are saying thank you. To learn how to recycle at your home or business, visit 5brecycles.org.
Bronwyn Patterson Nickel is the outreach/education coordinator for Blaine County.