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Marysville adds recycling bins in downtown to reduce litter


Christopher Andersson

Owner of Carr's Hardware Darlene Scott, left, and manager Maurice Libbing stand in front of the recently installed recycling bin they sponsored on Third Street in Marysville.

Marysville's downtown and park recycling bins are the latest recycling project from the city, which has been using grant funds to promote citizen recycling.

The recycling bins were installed last month and are meant to provide a place for residents to place their recyclables during events.

"We recognized that we didn't have much opportunity for citizens to recycle as they moved through some of the core areas of Marysville like our downtown area," said public works operations manager Karen Latimer. "Especially in big events like the Strawberry Festival or the car shows, people would bring down cans or other material and they wouldn't have any opportunity to recycle," she said.

Because of this, lots of recyclable material ended up in the trash, she said.

The 10 installed containers hold about 24 gallons each.

Four downtown businesses, American Family Insurance, Walgreens, Loving Stitches and Carr's Hardware, volunteered to look after them.

Latimer said the businesses would watch the bins, empty them if they got too full and make sure they stayed sanitary.

"It seemed like the right thing to do, plus the city sweetened the deal by putting our name on it," Maurice Libbing, manager of Carr's Hardware, joked.

Libbing believes that people will be respectful if you give them the chance.

"We definitely think recycling is important. We try to help get that stuff off the street and if you give people a proper place to recycle, I think they will," he said.

The bins are one of the final projects from a two-year grant from the Washington state Department of Ecology meant to reduce waste and increase recycling, said Latimer.

Latimer said that spending money to promote recycling helps the city spend less on dealing with waste material.

"This is all part of a strategy to divert material away from the waste stream, because the more waste there is the more the city has to pay to get rid of it," she said. "It's really a shift of expenditures away from waste removal and into recycling programs where at least that material can be used again."

Through the grants the city has worked to help apartments and businesses start recycling programs, which many of them lacked before.

"A lot of these multi-family facilities [apartment buildings] didn't have recycling at all, and they struggle with the continuous problems with sanitation and education because there's always new residents to educate," said Latimer

The city has helped those apartments get containers, find locations for their recycling and educating the tenants about the program.

A pilot business program was also put into place because an estimated 200 businesses in the city weren't using the recycling available to them, said Latimer. Much like the apartment program, the city helped with education and setting up bins and got 146 businesses to participate, she said.

Although the grant funding from the state's Department of Ecology is almost over, Latimer hopes to receive another round soon and work with schools and the government's in-house recycling programs to improve those areas.


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