The success of a new curbside recycling program in Inman has local residents and business leaders calling for a similar program to be started in McPherson.
Barbara Tuxhorn, Inman city clerk, spoke to the McPherson Chamber of Commerce Community Development Committee Tuesday.
Between the launch of the program on Nov. 16 and Feb. 1, 21.37 tons of recyclables have been collected through the curbside program.
About 25 percent of Inman’s waste stream is now being diverted to recycling, Tuxhorn told the committee Tuesday.
Tuxhorn said city officials expect the recycling percentage to increase.
McPherson Solid Waste Utility issued 90-gallon recycling polycarts to all Inman residents. The city still offers a central recycling collection station for rural Inman residents. The single stream curbside program will accept most recyclables, including, paper, cardboard, No. 1-7 plastics, glass, aluminum, steel and tin cans.
The recyclables are taken to Stutzman’s recycling center in South Hutchinson to be processed.
“I think our residents appreciate how easy we have made it to recycle,” Tuxhorn said.
No one is required to participate in the program, but all trash customers are charged a $2 recycling fee on their monthly trash bills.
Tuxhorn said the program has been very successful, with only a few complaints. Ten of the program’s 500 customers have asked to not participate in the program.
“I don’t see a downside to it,” Tuxhorn said of the recycling program.
The recycling program is following the community values that have been established in local schools, Tuxhorn said.
“Our grade school students have been taught to recycle for years,” she said. “They are going to be much better recyclers than their parents.”
Dan and Sue Hervey, McPherson residents, said they would support an expansion of the curbside recycling program to McPherson.
“I would like to see it here instead of all the different bins. You have to sort plastics, newspapers and paper,” Dan Hervey said.
“He would like to get his garage back,” Sue Hervey said.
McPherson resident Jon Flory Schrock said he is an avid recycler. His family only has need to put out a trash can for pickup about once a month. However, he said he would prefer curbside recycling to taking his recyclables to the transfer station once a week.
Jennifer Burch, chamber director, said the committee will continue looking into the feasibility of implementing curbside recycling in McPherson.
The committee plans to bring a MASWU representative to its next meeting on March 12 to discuss the issue further.