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May 25, 2015

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Henderson recycling program to go citywide by fall 2013

A new program offering weekly recycling and garbage pickups will go into effect in Henderson in the fall of 2013, Mayor Andy Hafen said after the City Council voted Tuesday to institute a citywide recycling plan.

The council, in a 5-0 vote, approved the “single-stream residential recycling program” after a public hearing in which more than a dozen people voiced both support and concern about the plan.

A pilot program overseen by Republic Services, the city’s solid waste franchisee, has been in effect since 2010 and has involved some 25,000 households in Henderson. All other Henderson residents had their trash picked up twice a week and recycling once every other week. The single-stream routine would also replace three plastic bins for recycling different materials with one large, roll-off bin for all recyclables.

“We’ve tested and retested and retested again,” Councilwoman Debra March noted.

Surveys conducted by the city and Republic showed support among pilot program participants.

“I’m convinced that we need this program and this should be fully implemented if we are to do our part to improve our quality of life,” Sun City Anthem resident David Berman said Tuesday night. “A satisfaction rate north of 90 percent with some of the pilot programs is nothing short of phenomenal.”

The majority of Sun City Anthem 13,000 residents’ concerns were for the garbage build-up, smell and ability for elderly and disabled residents to carry their large bins outside.

“Is that what you want? To force old people to move garbage cans,” one man asked the council.

Republic Services spokesman Bob Coyle said senior citizens with disabilities who have no help at home would be eligible for complimentary trash pick-up as long as their bins were placed outside of their garages. Included in the agreement is the city’s requirement that Republic provide disabled assistance and advertise the availability of the assistance in all outreach materials.

Coyle said resident participation in recycling increased more than 400 percent during the course of the program.

The council, in approving the program, also agreed to staff recommendations that Republic begin an orientation program for residents about the changes. The orientation program will include public open houses, a customer-service hotline to answer resident questions and concerns, informational brochures tailored to Henderson and provided to every household, demonstration booths at a minimum of three public events in Henderson per calendar year until implementation is complete.

Finally, the city will require Republic to dedicate a website to the recycling program that “includes all program information, instructional videos explaining recycling in the context of Southern Nevada including why recycling is important and the recycling process from curbside collection to shipment to material recycler, and online tools that assist residents with visually identifying materials that can and cannot be recycled.”

Coyle said it would take until fall 2013 to expand the program citywide because Republic doesn't have all of the required equipment on hand. The company must wait on the manufacture and delivery of 35 new garbage trucks, at a cost of about $11.4 million, and new carts, at an estimated cost of $8.5 million.

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