Curbside recycling has been offered in Estevan for nearly four months, and it has proven to be a popular service, says Logan Baniulis, the sales manager with Regens Disposal.
More than 105,000 kilograms – equivalent to more than 233,000 pounds or 116 tonnes - have been collected since the program's inception in the northwest quadrant of the city in early September, said Baniulis. Recycling was expanded to the rest of the city in early October, with those who live west of Souris Avenue receiving pick-up one week, and those east of Souris getting service the other week.
“On average, the (materials in the) carts weigh over 11 kilograms a piece,” said Baniulis. “The highest average cart in one month was Hillcrest at over 13 kilograms per cart.”
Regens has been tracking how much material has been recycled. In October – the first full month for city-wide pick-up – the average recycle cart weighed 11.82 kilograms. And the total weight of recycled materials collected was 39,920 kilograms.
The largest pick-up from a subdivision was October 28 in the Hillside area, when 686 carts, with a total weight of 8,030 kilograms, were collected.
In November, the average recycle cart weighed 10.38 kilograms, and 3,408 carts were emptied for a total weight of 35,370 kilograms. Once again, the largest pick-up was in the Hillside subdivision, with 7,880 pounds were collected from 840 carts on November 25.
The quality of the material has also improved now that people are becoming accustomed to what they can insert, Baniulis said. They still receive some phone calls inquiries, but not as many as when the program started.
Baniulis isn't surprised that the average cart weight and the total volume of recycled materials have decreased.
“I think people had been storing material, which I guess shows that they were excited about the service staring,” said Baniulis.
People are also more aware that items like Styrofoam and soiled pizza boxes can't be recycled, he said. A complete list of accepted products is available on Regens' website.
A letter was sent out in early in November to remind people of how to prepare the different types of material, and Baniulis said that helped out with the quality of the material.
Regens' recycling plant northeast of Bienfait has handled the increase in material well. Changes were made in how the plant was configured, but after the changes happened, there weren't any hiccups. The equipment is running well, too, he said.
People are quite happy to have the service in Estevan. Baniulis said the participation rates haven't been surprising, since everybody was delivered a blue, single-stream recycling cart, and Regens expected that the vast majority of residents would use them.
“There's been essentially no negative feedback,” said Baniulis. “It's been really good and positive.”
And a lot of commercial businesses have also come on board with recycling programs of their own. Baniulis attributes that to the buzz associated with curbside recycling, as so many people have become aware of the different products that can be recycled, and the items that they don't have to throw away.