Businesses are encouraged to utilize these ‘cardboard only’ bins offered free of charge to commercial customers. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
There are numerous benefits a business can enjoy from tossing corrugated cardboard into the recycling bin rather than in the trash. Besides helping the environment, it can help businesses save money.
Starting in September 2017, the Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division (ESD) has been offering cardboard recycling services free of charge to its commercial customers. This includes waiving the rental fee of the “cardboard only” bins, the bin setup and the weekly pick up.
Dropping loads of cardboard for recycling at the Eco Station also is free to businesses.
The usual charge for recycle bins is $10.50 a month and the charge for one weekly pickup for a trash dumpster is $125 per month.
ESD Office Specialist Tiffany Pegoda explained that Environmental Services wants to target businesses that have trash pickups more than once a week and who generate a significant amount of cardboard. She said these businesses will see a cost savings because they wouldn’t need trash picked up as frequently.
So far only one business has taken advantage of this offer, Pegoda said, adding that more cardboard recycling dumpsters are on order.
“We want people to start signing up for them,” she said.
Not only does recycling cardboard impact wallets of local businesses but it can positively affect the County’s recycling rate.
“Half of all solid waste comes from the commercial sector,” Pegoda said. “By diverting recyclables out of that waste stream, that’s going to help us meet our goal of a 40 percent diversion rate by 2020. That’s one of our sustainability goals outlined in the Environmental Sustainability Plan.”
Businesses are reminded that cardboard needs to be flattened and put in “cardboard only” bins. Only corrugated cardboard can be put in those bins, other types like chipboard or cereal boxes should be put in the mixed recycling dumpsters.
The County is a little more than halfway toward meeting its goal of a 40 percent recycling rate. Pegoda said the County is around 25 percent. The hope is it will increase with the yard trimming roll carts coming in July of this year.
In 2017, 141 tons of cardboard was recycled in the County, she added. Pegoda further pointed out that paper and cardboard make up about 27 percent of the waste stream.
To sign up for the free cardboard recycling dumpster, call the Eco Station at 662.8163 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.