City Starts New Recycling Program

TWO APARTMENT COMPLEXES PARTICIPATING ON ROTATING BASIS

Stephanie Kellner, left, holds 2-year-old son August so he can deposit paper into a recycling container Tuesday at The Cliffs in east Fayetteville. The city is launching a program that will allow residents of apartments to recycle using containers rotated between two area complexes. “I saw this yesterday and I was so happy,” said Kellner.
Stephanie Kellner, left, holds 2-year-old son August so he can deposit paper into a recycling container Tuesday at The Cliffs in east Fayetteville. The city is launching a program that will allow residents of apartments to recycle using containers rotated between two area complexes. “I saw this yesterday and I was so happy,” said Kellner.

— The city’s Solid Waste and Recycling Division is rolling out a recycling program this week for two apartment complexes.

City workers will pick up recyclable material for the first time at The Cliffs apartments off Crossover Road and the North Creekside Apartments on North Leverett Avenue.

For years, the only recycling service for most apartment dwellers has been the city’s drop-off site on South Happy Hollow Road.

Brian Pugh, waste reduction coordinator, said the program is in response to calls for more recycling options. It’s aimed at reducing the trash the city transports to the Eco-Vista Landfill in Tontitown, he said.

According to the Census Bureau, nearly 60 percent of housing in Fayetteville is rental property. A large portion is apartments, although census data does not segment the rental housing into categories.

While the city operates a curbside recycling service for single-family homes regardless of whether they’re owner- or renter-occupied, officials have struggled to develop an apartment-based recycling program.

Pugh said the Solid Waste and Recycling Division paid more than $18,000 for a multicompartment container shared by the two apartment complexes involved in the project so far.

The container, which is designed to accept aluminum and steel cans and No. 1 and 2 plastics, will be stored in front of the clubhouse at the Cliffs apartments on Mondays and Tuesdays before being emptied and transported to North Creekside Apartments on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The city plans to add another container for more apartments later this year and will use a $18,500 grant from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to add a third container in early 2012.

Oubab Khalil, property manager at North Creekside Apartments, said he thinks many residents who live in the 195-unit complex will take advantage of the new program.

“If they know the city will take care of it from A to Z, I would say a lot of people will invest the money,” Khalil said. “It’s a great amenity. It’s something you can always advertise and say, ‘We do recycling.’”

David Jurgens, utilities director, said Tuesday the city hasn’t begun charging tenants for the new service.

He said tenants living at participating apartments will likely see a fee added to their water bills, but officials have not determined what it will be.

The City Council would have to approve any rate increase.