Wait! Don’t toss that Vogue magazine or packing box into the garbage can.
Put them in the recycling bin instead.
Starting Monday, Spokane city residents can save space in their trash cans by recycling magazines and corrugated cardboard.
While newspapers, glass bottles and aluminum cans have been accepted since the program began three years ago, recycling companies weren’t interested in the glossy paper and heavy cardboard, said Dennis Hein, the city’s Solid Waste Director.
“Now, we have a market for those products,” he said.
Residents are asked to bag or tie magazines. Catalogs thicker than a quarter-inch won’t be accepted.
Cardboard must be flattened and tied. Pieces larger than 2 feet by 2 feet must be cut down.
Sorry, no pizza boxes. The grease contaminates the cardboard, which makes it difficult to recycle.
Changes to the recycling trucks cost the department about $120,000. New “bubble tailgates” and compactors had to be added to make room for the new materials.
The entire $2 million recycling program will pay for itself, Hein said. First, 40 percent of that cost is recovered when items are sold to recycling companies.
Each ton of garbage costs $92.50 to burn at the incinerator. About 12,000 tons of recyclables translate into a $1.1 million annual savings.
Ratepayers won’t pay any more for the expanded program, Hein said.