Now that Dillons no longer offers recycling at its stores, Wichita residents won’t have any single-stream recycling options in the area, other than curbside service.
Waste Connections offered recycling bins at 10 Wichita-area Dillons stores but pulled the bins from those locations Saturday because of problems with illegal dumping.
For example, people dumped mattresses, refrigerators, broken windows and other items that can’t be recycled, which became a safety issue for workers. Waste Connections had offered recycling at Dillons stores for 20 years.
Now, it seems only one company offers comparable services in Wichita. Susan Erlenwein, director of Sedgwick County Environmental Resources, said PRo Kansas Miller Recycling Center, 725 E. Clark, a nonprofit organization, is the only recycling company in Wichita that accepts drop-off recycling for a wide variety of materials. Recyclers then sort materials at the recycling center. The location also has limited hours each week – 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
PRo Kansas Miller Recycling Center, 725 E. Clark, is the only recycling company in Wichita that accepts drop-off recycling for a wide variety of materials.
“Really, you’re not going to get the co-mingled (recycling) like you had at the drop-offs at Dillons,” Erlenwein said about the Wichita area.
But she said that in Park City and Valley Center, the Leeker’s Family Foods stores still offer single-stream recycling.
Other businesses offer recycling for specific items or materials, such as appliances, batteries, cellphones, computers, furniture, hazardous materials, hearing aids, medication and metal..
A list of those businesses, sorted by recycling type, can be found at http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/environment/recyclingguide.asp.
Erlenwein said some residents had called with complaints or questions about Dillons discontinuing the recycling service.
“Part of their concern is it’s not as convenient to go to these other locations as it was to go to Dillons while they’re shopping,” she said. “We feel the recycling rate will probably drop in our community.”
Part of their concern is it’s not as convenient to go to these other locations as it was to go to Dillons while they’re shopping.
Susan Erlenwein, director of Sedgwick County Environmental Resources
In Wichita, curbside recycling is an elective service for which residents pay extra.
Waste Connections is offering six months of free curbside recycling as a way to encourage residents to use the service. Tiffanie Bauder, residential service manager for Waste Connections in Wichita, said the promotion is for new customers or existing customers for the trash service. She said Waste Connections offers curbside recycling only in conjunction with its trash service for $5 extra per month.
Derby, along with some other cities in Sedgwick County, mandates curbside recycling be included in residents’ trash removal fees. The mandate doesn’t require that residents recycle but instead automatically offers the service, whereas Wichita residents must opt into the service to receive curbside recycling and pay an extra fee.
“You don’t have to recycle if you don’t want to, but the vast majority of people do and appreciate it,” Bauder said.
“Most people got on board,” she said.
Within the first year of the program, Kathy Sexton, city manager of Derby, said, the percentage of recycled material in the city’s total waste composition jumped from 5 percent to 22 percent.
“Once you start recycling, you’re going to keep doing it,” she said. “Especially if it doesn’t cost you more.”
And Sexton said 90 percent of Derby’s residents paid less under the new system of combined trash and recycling services than the residents paid for trash alone prior to the switch in 2009.
Erlenwein said the county’s Solid Waste Management Committee submits recommendations to the county every five years. She said since 2001, the committee has recommended the county adopt an ordinance to include curbside recycling with trash removal.