10 things to know about new recycling program
Beginning today, Davenport and Bettendorf residents will be able to recycle more kinds of plastic and paper items.
The launch of the new “Go All In” program that cost about $11 million to implement also is expected to be easier for residents because there is no sorting — everything that can be recycled goes into one cart.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Use the blue carts. By now everyone in Davenport and Bettendorf should have received the new blue carts, and they should be used from now on.
2. What to do with the old containers. Davenport residents, you can keep the containers you have and use them for other purposes, or place them EMPTY at the curb for collection on your regular recycling day between Aug. 15 and Sept. 10.
Bettendorf residents, you should have received a mailing stating when to place your old cart at the curb for collection. If you lost your mailing, call public works at 563-344-4088.
3. Put in more plastic items. This is the big one. Now instead of only those plastic containers with the numbers 1 and 2 on the bottom (milk jugs, detergent bottles), you can put in all plastics EXCEPT Styrofoam and plastic bags.
That means numbers 3, 4, 5 and 7. This includes yogurt, cottage cheese and margarine spread containers and some take-out food containers — anything with a number on the bottom except Styrofoam, which is No. 6. If there is no number, it’s trash.
For gardeners, this means you can recycle the pots and flats you buy plants in as long as they have a number (except 6) on the bottom. Again, if there is no number, it’s trash.
Lids and labels are OK.
4. Put in more paperish items. You can now recycle slick-coated boxes, such as gable-top milk or juice containers (those that make a triangular spout), frozen dinner boxes, pop cases and butter boxes. Containers for nuts and Pringles potato chips also are OK.
5. In means in. While corrugated cardboard used to be stacked on top of, or next to, the containers, now everything must go inside.
6. Everything that went in before still goes in. This means “tin” cans (really steel), aluminum cans, aluminum foil and glass food and drink containers. As in the past, all containers should be empty and rinsed and boxes should be flattened.
7. Patience! If you think your cart is too big, just give it a try until fall. Between Sept. 12 and Oct. 14, you will be able to change the size of your recycling cart at no charge. You will get a postcard about this in the mail.
8. Smaller garbage cart. On the other hand, if you find you recycle so much that there’s hardly anything in your garbage container, you will be able to downsize your garbage cart, and therefore pay less in fees, during that same time period at no charge. (See No. 7.)
9. For Bettendorf residents only: Recycling formerly was picked up once a month, on the same day as bulky waste and electronics. Now recycling, bulky waste and electronics will be picked up every other week, still all on the same day. Because of this, your schedule has changed, and you should have gotten a new calendar in the mail.
10. Expanded services. The Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Ave., Davenport, has reopened. It had been closed since October for expansion and the installation of new sorting equipment.
In addition, the Household Hazardous Waste disposal site that accepts paints, pesticides and chemicals as well as “sharps” and light bulbs, has longer hours with no appointment necessary.
Equipment and construction to implement the new program was paid for by the Waste Commission of Scott County. Of the $11 million total, $4.6 million went to updating and expanding the recycling center where all recyclables are taken for sorting.
Although residents no longer have to sort their recyclables, the materials still have to be sorted before they can be sold. That is why new, more sophisticated equipment had to be purchased. And the building had to be expanded to accommodate the expected increase in materials.
Of the remainder, $3.1 million was spent for new processing equipment and $2.7 million for new carts.