The City of Tyler Solid Waste Department's recycling program has tripled the number of subscribers in the last twelve months. Out of 27,000 residential customers, 2,647, or nearly 10 percent, also have elected to use a recycling cart. In July 2007 the program had only 808 subscribers.
The program's growth is due, in large part, to the advent of the recycling cart. The City has had a recycling program since 1999; however, customers utilized a small crate to collect their recyclables. The new carts are 64 gallons and can be easily rolled to the curb for pick-up. Customers who select to have a recycling cart are charged an additional $2.50 per month to offset the cost of fuel, labor and vehicle maintenance.
With the new carts, customers do not need to sort recyclable materials or put them in a bag. Recyclables should be placed directly in the cart. The following items may be recycled using the cart:
- Steel food cans (rinsed);
- Aluminum cans;
- #1 PETE clear plastic (such as soda and water bottles with lids removed);
- #2 HDPE plastic of all colors (lids removed);
- Newspapers, including inserts;
- Office paper;
- Junk mail;
- Paper grocery bags; and,
Items that are NOT accepted include:
- Glass (clear and brown glass is accepted only at the Tyler Recycling Collection Center);
- Plastics numbered 4, 5, or 6;
- Phonebooks (they are collected during specified timeframes at the Recycling Collection Center);
- Aerosol cans; and,
- Aluminum pie plates.
The same automated collection trucks used for household refuse pick-up are used for recycling pick-up. This allows the City to save money by using existing equipment and staffing. Recycling is collected on Wednesdays twice per month.
In addition to the curbside recycling program, the City offers recycling drop-off at the Recycling Center at 418 N. Bois D'Arc Avenue in downtown Tyler. The center also accepts electronics for recycling.
For customers interested in composting, the Solid Waste Department sells composting bins for $43.30. Each composter is equipped with a unique aerator feature, or chimney, to speed the composting process and provide maximum aerobic efficiency. This bin is made in the USA and comes complete with an informative "How to Compost" brochure.
Items that can be composted include leaves, grass, pine needles, weeds, wood chips, vegetable peelings, crushed egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds.
"The composting bins are a way that residents can help reduce the amount of waste being placed in our landfill," said Kristi Boyett, special projects coordinator. "The composted material is a great addition to any lawn or garden".