Starting this week, the City will begin rolling out over 39,000 new recycling and trash/ yard waste carts to residents that can be used for new and improved automated collection starting the week of July 3.
The 96-gallon carts have wheels for easy maneuvering, attached lids to keep recyclables and solid waste dry and secure, and allow residents to recycle more. With the added capacity, residents no longer need to sort recyclables. Instead, residents can place all accepted recyclable items directly into the new cart.
"The change to carted single-stream recycling and garbage collection is a big step forward for the City of Council Bluffs," said Tony Fiala, Solid Waste Superintendent for the City of Council Bluffs. "The carted single-stream recycling will provide more capacity and make it easier for residents to recycle. Fully carted collection for all solid waste will improve collection efficiency, reduce litter and improve the aesthetics of the City. The City of Council Bluffs appreciates the funding and collaboration with the Recycling Partnership to help make this a reality."
The 96-gallon carts will arrive at residents' homes in May through late June. Each cart will be delivered with a packet of information on what can and cannot be recycled, a recycling collection calendar, and other program details. Residents can begin using their new carts starting July 3. Recycling collection will change to every other week on your regular trash day, and schedules will be provided upon delivery of the new carts.
Waste Connections is hosting a drop-off recycling event for residents wishing to recycle old garbage and recycling containers. The drop-off event will take place in the north parking lot of Horseshoe Casino between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. the week of July 10-16, 2023.
The City applied for and received a grant from The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works with communities, companies, and governments to transform the recycling process. Council Bluffs was selected to receive grant support because of its dedication to advancing recycling in the community. The Recycling Partnership grant will provide nearly $315,000 for the over 19,650 new recycling carts and includes funding for education and outreach about the new collection process.
The City asks that residents continue to do their part by placing only accepted recyclable materials in their carts, including aluminum and steel cans, food and beverage cartons, paper products (including newspapers and flattened cardboard), and plastic containers with twist-top lids, and margarine and yogurt tubs. To help limit contamination, quickly rinse food and drink containers and place them directly into the recycling cart—no sorting needed.
Some items that cannot be recycled include plastic bags, paper towels, electrical equipment, batteries, and clothing. These items often get added to recycling carts because of "wishcycling" or the hope that they can be recycled. While well-intentioned, non-recyclables cause serious issues.
Yard waste can be combined with garbage in the 96-gallon cart year-round. All materials must fit in the cart with the lid closed. Waste Connections will collect additional paper yard waste bags during peak times (April 15 - May 31 and October 15 - November 30). By eliminating a separate weekly yard waste collection, the City saves over $1 million, reduces carbon emissions, and lessens the wear and tear on our roads.
The Council Bluffs City Council approved a monthly rate increase of $1 for solid waste collection. The approved rate adjustment begins in July 2023. The new solid waste rate is $21 monthly and is billed quarterly.
"We are pleased to offer our residents the convenience of automated collection and single-stream recycling," said Fiala. "Drivers can make approximately 60% more stops per hour with an automated truck improving efficiency, reducing our carbon footprint, and lessening road wear and tear. The new carts will be easy to move around, and the uniformity will result in cleaner neighborhood streets."
Residents can download "WasteConnect" in the App Store or Google Play Store to find collection schedules, set up notifications, and more. For additional solid waste program details, visit cbrecycles.com or contact Waste Connections at 712-890-5549.