Beavertonians can soon recycle food containers, plastic bags
Starting Nov. 1, Beaverton residents will get the chance to recycle those clear plastic take-out food containers, textiles and other items through an opt-in curbside recycling program.
On that date, the city's five franchised garbage and recycling companies will begin offering Recycle+, an on-call service that allows homeowners to recycle many products currently not offered by other curbside recycling programs.
Recycle+ was first rolled out for customers in unincorporated Washington County earlier this year. The program is now expanding.
"Customers would sign up with their hauler. They would then be delivered a purple 18-gallon tub with a lid that would keep the materials clean and dry," Scott Keller, Beaverton's senior program manager for sustainability and recycling, explained during an Aug. 16 meeting where the Beaverton City Council signed off on the additional rates customers would pay if they decided to add on the service. "When they have materials ready for collection, they would request a pickup date as needed, up to twice a month."
Keller explained that the program will evolve over time with innovations and adaptions.
"Recycle+ customers would be able to set out lightbulbs, plastic bags and film, textiles and No. 1 clear plastic clamshells or take-out containers for collection and recycle," he said.
Here's how the fee structure will work:
• Residents would be charged $2.50 per month for administrative costs and the cost of the covered bin. • A pick-up fee of $9.25 would be tacked on only when the service is used. (Keller estimated that most customers would request pickup of items every six to eight weeks on average.)
• Customers wanting to have a hauler pick up items from their porch or garage would pay an $11.70 each time they called for pickup and if that distance was greater than 125 feet, it would cost $13.02 each time.
Keller said the proposed rates are the same as those implemented by Washington County for its enhanced recycling service.
At launch, Recycle+ will only be available for single-family residential customers.
Keller said he knows there's a desire for such a program at apartment complexes, and city officials plan to talk with haulers, Washington County staff and other local governments to expand the program to serve those customers over the next year or so.
Also beginning on Nov. 1, Beavertonians can begin recycling household batteries curbside.
"This part of the program has no additional cost," said Keller, although the batteries do need to be placed in a plastic bag on top of the current glass recycling container.
Beaverton has been making a push for "greener" city programs and services in recent years. Beaverton adopted its first climate action plan in 2019, noted Dianna Ballash, a spokesperson for the city government.
"Our commitment to sustainability is a top priority, which is why we are dedicated to this ambitious path of a greener and cleaner community for all," said Ballash. "Offering expanded recycling services to community members, including those who rent and live in multi-family housing, is one way we hope to achieve this."
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