Village residents might have to start breaking down all those extra Amazon boxes or risk them not being picked up and recycled.
Starting Monday, April 1, recycling that doesn’t fit in the blue cart will be left behind unless it’s in a plastic bag placed next to the cart. The bag must be clear plastic, no more than 32 gallons or 50 pounds.
Pellitteri released a memo March 1 that explained while its drivers had previously been collecting the excess recycling, that practice would change and the driver would put a sticker on the cart explaining why.
At a March Village Board meeting, village administrator Mike Gracz called it the “Amazon effect,” pointing to the increase of online shopping and its attendant packaging.
Danielle Pellitteri, the Madison-based waste hauling company’s vice president of sales, told the Observer the spike in recycling has made the routes take longer. Pellitteri’s side-loading trucks are automated, but any surplus material that’s not in the cart has to be loaded by hand into the cart before it makes it into the truck.
“It’s nearly impossible to reload anything that’s not in the cart,” she said.
The memo asks for the cardboard to be put in a bag because when the material gets wet, it makes it more likely it will end up in the landfill, rather than being recycled.
“When cardboard gets saturated, it causes it to not sort properly at the material recovery facility, possibly leading it to end up in the trash,” Pellitteri wrote. “Wet material also downgrades the quality of the cardboard, which reduces the value of the cardboard and increases the cost of recycling.”
Pellitteri said there is “way more” recycling now than there was five or 10 years ago. That’s prompted some area municipalities like the City of Middleton and the Village of McFarland to adopt weekly recycling pickup.
Other municipalities have gone to every-other-week recycling with larger bins.