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Recycling at home just got easier, and at no extra cost

Curbside recycling soon will get easier for Rogue Disposal & Recycling customers — and more effective, company officials said.

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, several key recyclables — including glass containers and plastic tubs, which could not previously be placed in the company's commingled recycling red-lid carts — will be accepted, said Denise Barnes, the company's recycling coordinator.

Plastic tubs, such as yogurt, butter and sour cream containers, as well as glass bottles and jars will be recycled via Rogue Disposal's red-lid, commingled recycling program, Barnes said.

In the past, these items were a problem for the company's recycling program because broken glass could not be safely separated from other commingled recycling items. And the lower-quality plastic used to make plastic tubs could contaminate a batch of higher-quality recyclable plastic, she said.

Rogue Disposal & Recycling has overcome these dilemmas by collaborating with a new recycling partner in Portland that has the means to do the sorting, Barnes said.

"Commingling is a relatively new process. But it just keeps getting better," Barnes said. "For example, newspapers will be taken to a paper mill and turned into new newspapers."

Barnes said the company increased its rates by 3.8 percent effective on Jan. 1. But the change is an annual Consumer Price Index adjustment and is not related to the new services, Barnes said.

"There's no extra cost. Just an educational component," she added.

The company has a request, however: No lids in the recycle bins, please.

"We need customers to remove all lids from tubs, bottles and jars — even plastic water bottles. They just don't sort well. Flat, plastic container lids end up in the paper plants," Barnes said, adding customers can save their lids for the annual Plastic Round-up.

In addition to the newly approved items for the red-lid carts, motor oil will be accepted on every regularly scheduled recycling day. Motor oil was previously accepted only once a month. Simply place the used oil in 1-gallon plastic containers (with the lids firmly closed) on the curb next to your red-lid container, Barnes said.

Rural Rogue customers who use a red bin instead of a red-lid cart will also be permitted to combine glass items and plastic tubs with other recyclables. Motor-oil collection for rural customers will take place every other week on the regular red-cart recycle day, she said.

Current glass recycling customers choosing to return their small, red, glass bins may set them on the curb on what would have been their regular glass day in February to have them picked up and returned to Rogue Disposal & Recycling. Customers may also choose to keep their small, red, glass-recycling bins and place 1-gallon plastic containers of motor oil inside of it on regular curbside recycling days, she added.

Until now, glass recycling was available only through a special opt-in program, and only about 40 percent of Rogue Disposal's customers participated. Through these changes, glass recycling will become available to every Rogue Disposal customer.

The goal is to have people recycle more items, said Garry Penning, the company's director of government affairs and marketing. The advancements to Rogue Disposal's commingled program not only increase the overall percentage of recycling, they reduce the number of trips for the company's trucks, which lowers carbon emissions.

"All of that comes together to decrease our community's carbon footprint," Penning said in a news release.

More information about the commingled recycling program is available at www.roguedisposal.com.