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Sanitary services will soon provide roller carts for residents' recyclable items

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - The city of Estacada's recycling depot will close next week because of rising costs and illegal dumping.

The city of Estacada recycling depot will close next week, but city leaders are in the process of negotiating an updated contract with sanitary-services providers that would include roller carts for recyclable items.

The depot along Evergreen Road, which is managed by KB Recycling, has not been financially self-sufficient for several years. KB Recycling has told the city it is no longer able to continue subsidizing the depot's operations.

"If the city could put in $2,000 a month, that would keep it open, but we can't expect KB to keep taking this loss," Estacada City Manager Denise Carey said.

Both global and local factors have influenced the depot's closure.

The cost to take recycling has increased significantly because of new recycling restrictions in China, which is where much of the recycling collected in the U.S. is sent.

One reason for these requirements, implemented at the beginning of this year, is trash and other non-reusable items mixed in with the recyclables, which decreases the value and quality of the recyclable material.

Because of these new regulations, the cost per ton of recycling has increased by approximately $70.

At the local level, Carey noted that there have been numerous instances of people leaving trash at the recycling depot.

"Every day our (Public Works) guys have to go clean stuff that's left down there that's not supposed to be there," she said.

Because of these factors, Estacada's recycling depot will close on Thursday, March 15.

In the meantime, city leaders are in the process of providing additional options for recycling within city limits. Though customers have had the option of weekly recycling since 2001, roller carts were not provided. They will be made available under the new contract, which goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The carts will be partially funded by a $21,099 grant from the Department of Environmental Quality.

Under the new contract, green yard waste bins will also be provided, and commercial locations will receive larger bins for their cardboard.

The city's ordinances do not require residents to have garbage service, but prohibit keeping uncovered garbage outside.

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