Proposed Curbside Recycling Expansion Countywide

There is growing interest from residents living east of Morton in having a curbside recycling program available to them. The Lewis County Commissioners want to hear from all the community members about this interest in expanding this program. You can share your thoughts by answering a short post-card survey. A self-addressed, stamped survey is being prepared and will be mailed out to residents living east of Morton in mid-July. Residents will have the option to participate in the survey online at www.lewiscountywa.gov/recyclingsurvey. The survey link will be live in mid-July.

The proposed program would include a 96-gallon container, to be provided by the waste and recycling hauler and picked up every two weeks, for the collection of the following items: cardboard, newspaper, mail, plastic bottles, plastic jugs, tin cans, and aluminum cans. Garbage service is already available to all residents of Lewis County.

Garbage and recycling services are not free. If approved, a recycling fee would be added to all residential accounts with garbage service to cover the expense associated with the expanded service. The exception would be for customers who request once per month garbage pick-up, and opt out of recycling service. The current cost of the Lewis County program west of Morton is $8.49 per month, set by our service provider LeMay. Based on the sale of recyclables, customers receive a monthly commodity credit of $0.55 cents. This adjustment is set annually, and is based on the revenue generated by the sale of the recyclables during the previous year. The credit is established by the state’s Utilities & Transportation Commission.

Oftentimes, when residents start recycling, they are able to reduce their existing level of garbage service to offset the cost of recycling and save money. For example, if a resident had garbage picked up weekly prior to having recycling available; they may notice their garbage can is not full on pick-up day because they are diverting so much of their waste to recycling. In an effort to offset costs, the user could change their service from weekly pick-up to every other week pick-up, or switch from a 95 gallon refuse container to a 65 gallon container.

The proposed curbside-recycling program for residents in east Lewis County would not include glass, as it damages the recycling sorting machines, contaminates paper recycling, and injures workers. Collection of glass separately minimizes many of these issues. The Lewis County Commissioners are also interested to know whether residents are interested in a separate curbside glass recycling pick-up for an additional fee.

If you have questions about this survey, please don’t hesitate to call 360-740-1451 or email swu@lewiscountywa.gov. Here is a link for additional Lewis County recycling information: www.lewiscountywa.gov/recycle.