Cardboard recycling ordinance proposed

The manager of Sedona Recycles is asking businesses to help put a dent in that cardboard box waste during America Recycles Week. Its a two-edged sword according to Kate Blevins, when cardboard goes to the landfill. The landfill gets plugged with material that can be easily recycled and the Verde Valley's recycling processor loses.

Blevins says the Greywolf Landfill takes about a thousand tons of waste every day with one-third of that volume coming from the Verde Valley. Three hundred to 400 tons of that daily in-take is cardboard. Every business uses the stuff. Most packaging in the United States is cardboard, no matter what the product.

The Sedona Recycles manager says local businesses want to recycle their cardboard, but don't have the time and resources to do it themselves. She says Sedona Recycles frequently gets calls from businesses that would like to have their cardboard picked up. She says Sedona Recycles is a processing operation and is not in the hauling trade. Businesses need to talk with their waste handler and make sure that they offer a cardboard service, she says. Only two of the four Verde Valley haulers handle cardboard separately for businesses.

Business recycling of cardboard through Sedona Recycles has dropped by half during the past year. "Cardboard along with newspaper is our bread and butter, it keeps this little non-profit alive," Blevins says.

When the business plan was developed for the recycling non-profit organization, organizers knew it would depend heavily on business volume.

At the same time, the volume at pickup points located in communities around the Verde Valley is increasing. Citizens are dropping off more material to be recycled. But the volume dumped into the rolling bins amounts to only 15 percent of the materials that come to the recycling center in Sedona.

Blevins is now working on an ordinance for the City of Sedona, which would require commercial businesses to recycle their cardboard rather than throwing it out with the garbage.

She says it's a good thing when people voluntarily help to reuse natural resources.

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