Village of Romeo officials
consider expanding recycling
by CHRIS GRAY
The holidays can create a lot of joy, especially when perfect gifts are opened, but it can also create a lot of junk.
Observer Staff Writer
In Romeo, however, recycling in the future may grow to provide more efficient ways to recycle unwanted or used up materials at no additional cost.
Pat Greve, representative with Waste Management, updated the Village Board of Trustees on new recycling options at its Nov. 18 meeting.
In particular, he said communities are going to larger containers for recyclable materials. This can be a large bin with a sticker on it or a wheeled cart that trucks literally pick up and empty.
"We're changing a lot of our guides as we expand our contracts with communities," he said.
Greve said the switch from the old bins would mean a pick up date every other week, but may not cost the village more money to switch.
"By reducing the number of weeks you pick it up it saves a bit on the cost, but it turns right around and helps fund the cost of the carts," he said.
He said almost 30 percent of Romeo's materials are diverted from landfills through recycling and yard waste. He said the larger containers like 96-gallons carts would hike that up to nearly 50 percent.
Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said officials will determine whether Romeo will switch from using a weekly pick-up to the larger carts.
"They are going to send information and we'll see if we can start in that program," she said.
In the meantime, she said the village is ordering recycling stickers, which act similar to yard waste stickers if residents want to use a bigger bin with a lid for recycling. The bin must not exceed 32 gallons and not weigh more than 50 pounds when filled.
The recycling program collects paper, metal, plastic and glass materials. For plastics, anything with a code of one through seven is accepted. Cardboard must be cut into 2-foot by 2-foot sections or smaller. Other items include magazines, newspapers, steel and tin cans, kitchen cookware and clear glass.
Items that are not accepted include Styrofoam containers and packing, paint cans, electrical cords, wood items and batteries.
Since the program is single-stream, all accepted materials can go within the same container.
McLaughlin said the village has participated in curbside recycling since 1995. Greve said Romeo was one of the first in Macomb County to start curbside recycling.
Residents may know about the normal garbage routine, but with the holidays around the corner they may want to give more than they receive.
Collection day for Romeo is Thursdays with the exception of six holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Aside from normal garbage, residents can place one large bulk item per week at the curb, whether it's a cabinet, sink, furniture or other bulky items. Any items with Freon like refrigerators or air conditioners must have certification of the Freon removed.
Light bulbs should be crushed inside a sealed, double-lined trash bag. The bag should be sealed in a cardboard box.
Those going through home restoration can dispose of certain materials. Glass can be disposed of by smashing it and placing the shards in a rigid plastic container or heavy-duty cardboard box and marking it "broken glass." Glass within panes should have duct tape in the shape of a star over them.
Drywall no bigger than 1 foot by 4 foot can be placed at the curb and bundled to be no more than 30 pounds. The same guidelines apply to wood, though screws and nails should be removed or pounded in to prevent injury to collectors.
Latex paint cans should have lids removed and any residual paint dried with sand or kitty litter.
"Within reason, we can take that stuff at the curb if it is prepared properly," Greve said.