Effective Jan. 1, Cherokee residents now have a more efficient method to recycle, thanks to an amended City Recycling Ordinance approved in December.
Much of the past year, the City has reviewed its recycling policies with Sanitary Services and the Cherokee County Solid Waste (Landfill) Commission.
Although several word changes were made in the amended Ordinance, the two basic changes include making it mandatory for all Cherokee residents to recycle, and allowing residents to place recyclable goods for pick-up in any type of container, provided that it is clearly marked for recyclables only, and when filled weighs no more than 50 pounds.
In the past, residents have been encouraged to recycle and use blue plastic bags available at no charge at City Hall. The City had also pondered using hard plastic tubs as other cities do, but ruled that out due to exorbitant and unnecessary costs.
According to Sanitary Services, the volume of recycling goods in Cherokee has decreased and flattened out the past few years. By making recycling mandatory in Cherokee and by increasing the choices citizens have in what containers they prefer to use, it is hoped residents will increase their efforts to recycle.
Fines can now be issued for citizens failing to properly recycle since the new Ordinance is in effect.
According to Sanitary Services, the following items can be put out on Recycle Day each week: paper, plastic, cardboard, cans, bottles, newspaper, magazines, printer paper, junk mail, boxes, jars, aluminum trays and pans, etc.
Items to be put out at curbside on Garbage Day include food, diapers, broken glass, wood.
*Why should I recycle?
Because you are saving space at the Cherokee County Landfill. Landfills quickly fill up without citizens recycling all that is possible. Today, land costs to add additional landfill cells is astronomical.
*Does recycling really make a difference?
Yes. Most experts say 60-75 percent of normal household garbage can be recycled. That is 60-75 percent LESS garbage buried at the landfill, which adds years to landfill capacities.
*How do I recycle?
All you have to do is use a clear plastic bag, or label a garbage can with a large "R" or the word "RECYCLE." Clear or transparent bags are available at local stores and grocery stores and do not need to be marked. Sanitary Services will pick such containers up on Thursdays or Fridays, depending on your location in the City.
*Do I have to use something different on Garbage Day?
You can still use a regular garbage can, or Sanitary services offers a 95 gallon residential container on wheels. Barrels are NOT allowed!
*I'm cleaning out the garage, what should I do?
If you have more than the limit 120 gallons, or four normal sized garbage cans, Sanitary Services also has larger dumpsters available, or you can purchase an extra garbage sticker at City Hall.
According to Sanitary Services, if you have an item or items you're not sure are recyclable, put them out on Recycle Day and Sanitary Services will sort it out at the Landfill.
Those with questions regarding the City's Recycling Ordinance can contact Sanitary Services at 225-2313 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, of contact City Hall at 225-5749.