MURRAY — According to Murray City Councilman Greg Clark, single-stream recycling is one of the greatest things out there.
“It’s a huge leap for the city of Murray to go from very little to almost no recycling … but to have recycling right outside your door,” Clark said. “I think it’s a huge step. Now, if we can just get people’s mindsets into doing it. I think the great thing is we’re teaching our future generations, our children, to recycle and pass that on to be more of a habit than something they would have to think about.”
The city of Murray has entered into a seven-year contract with Waste Management for waste removal and at-home recycling.
The first day for waste pick up, which is scheduled weekly, was Feb. 6. The first day for recycling pick up, which is bi-weekly, is scheduled to start Wednesdsay, Feb. 13.
Clark said toters have been distributed and delivered. People should have received a 96-gallon garbage container and 96-gallon toter for single-stream recycling.
In the contract, any type of commercial structure is also involved.
“Basically, there’s no price increase,” Clark said. “All the prices pretty much stay the same. … We have the school on board. The school will be doing recycling now, which, unfortunately, they’ve never had a recycling program in place. They will have the little toters in each classroom, and then they’ll move out and they’ll have a four-yard recycling dumpster.”
Clark said he started tackling the waste issue for many reasons. He was trying to clean up city codes to make them more understandable concerning waste problems.
“We’ve had problems with being able to just put waste bags out,” he said. “We’ve had problems with animals getting into the waste, which becomes a public nuisance, let alone becomes a health hazard, too.”
It got to the point where residents started asking about Waste Management. Clark said he called Waste Management and “things kind of started rolling from there.”
Clark said he talked to a lot of cities across Iowa and went through a lot of city codes to learn about what other cities do. He also received information from Brian Neppl with Waste Management, as well as Iowa DNR.
Another issue Clark mentioned was Clarke County’s landfill is closed down, and Murray has to use Union County’s landfill.
“The more we can divert out of our landfills, the longer those landfills will last,” Clark said. “Unfortunately, that’s a little too late for the Clarke County landfill, but if we could’ve gotten these single-stream and diverted more from these landfills, we could probably make our landfills last longer.”
Clark said incorporating single-stream recycling means being concerned with the future growth of the city, as well as teaching youths the importance of recycling.
“The more we can do, the better off we’re going to be as a whole as a city and as a county,” he said.