Starting this October, City of Kalamazoo residents won’t need to worry about sorting their recyclables, thanks to the approval of a contact for single stream recycling services by the City Commission at its July 17 meeting.
The ten-year contract with Republic Services will see the City’s recycling program convert from dual to single stream, meaning that paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal can be mixed together for pickup. The program will also transition from weekly collection of 18-gallon recycling bins, to bi-weekly collection of 95-gallon carts.
These changes will make Kalamazoo’s recycling program even more convenient for residents. The acceptance of mixed items in larger carts means that more items can be recycled, and the carts can be rolled to the curb more easily than the bins currently in use. Bi-weekly collection will also lower the number of collection trucks needed on city streets.
Each household’s collection day will remain the same, but will start occurring on alternating weeks following the change. Carts should be wheeled to the curb by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled collection day, but no sooner than one day prior to collection. Remove your recycling cart from the curblawn no later than 11:00 p.m. of the day of your collection. Residents are encouraged to use the Recycle Coach app to be reminded of their collection day and receive other important notices.
Households will need to request a cart to opt-in to the program. Each household will be notified of the upcoming changes to the recycling program by mail. Shortly after, an opt-in postcard will be mailed with instructions to request a cart. City staff will be working with community groups to help raise awareness and encourage households to participate. City staff will also host an open house to answer questions and assist residents that may need help requesting a bin (details to be announced).
Opt-in information will be sent to the managers of registered rentals properties. Owners or managers of multi-unit properties can also contact (269) 337-8215 for more information about recycling for their tenants. Tenants that want to participate should notify their property manager.
Initial notice of the program change will be mailed the first week of August, with opt-in instructions sent the following week. To ensure timely delivery of carts, please request your cart by September 1.
Delivery of recycling carts will begin on September 18. Each cart will be delivered with program information and a collection schedule attached. Residents are welcome to keep their existing bin or drop it off to Republic Services at 3432 Gembrit Circle. After the change takes place in October, recyclables placed out in bins will no longer be collected.
Residents are reminded to clean recyclables before placing them in the cart, and ensure that only recyclable materials are collected. Contamination of recycling can require otherwise recyclable items to be taken to a landfill. The Recycle Coach app can also help determine which items are recyclable and which are not.
The City of Kalamazoo’s recycling program is funded by a Solid Waste Millage and does not require any additional payment or user fees to participate. A 2015 survey of residents indicated strong support for moving to a single stream program. All residents are encouraged to participate and help reduce the amount of waste that our community sends to landfills.
City of Kalamazoo Public Services