PREVIOUS RECYCLING CONTAINERS ARE NO LONGER ADEQUATE
The large number
of recycling categories (2 or 3 different colors of glass, paper, cans,
bottles, etc.) imposes different demands on the design of the storage
container. It must be extremely compact (space is a rare commodity these
days!) and combine to form groups of any size. A group of 6 or 8 storage
containers should not be perceived as a random, irregular jumble of
receptacles, but as a visually appealing unit that blends into its surroundings.
The eco•comb system fulfills these two important criteria completely. It is based
on the principle of the honeycomb, which is symbolic for compact design
and outstanding stability. Its size and shape were developed for collecting
recyclable materials closest to where people live, with the maximum
BRIEF COMPARISON OF SYSTEMS
system using eco•comb storage containers filled
by individual households – preferably reinforced plastic containers
with discharge flaps on the base, like eco•comb – has proven to be extremely economical during the many years
they have been in use in Europe. No other system achieves such low collection
costs per ton or per mile, regardless of material type.
of the collected materials in the eco•comb system
is excellent. This explains why the paper and hollow glass industries
expressly recommend the storage container system. There are no sorting
costs and the individual household doesn’t need to buy special
collection bins. They require much less space and maneuvering area than
set-down containers. More importantly, collection and changeover costs
are substantially lower than with set-down skips, which have to be transported
many miles to intermediate disposal points and returned when empty.
The capacity of multi-chambered containers also leaves a lot to be desired.
RURAL RECYCLING USING THE
‘CONTAINER DISCHARGE SYSTEM’
by Ray Lariviere
South East & East Central Recycling Association Administrator
For a number
of years beginning in the 1980’s, European countries adopted the
‘Container Discharge System’ as the primary method of collecting
recyclable materials. For many reasons, this system was found to work
better than other collection systems. This type of system did not become
popular in North America until the 1990’s, when it was chosen
by a group in southeast Colorado as the right system for their rural
In 1992, six
small communities in four counties of southeast Colorado formed the
Southeast Recycling Association. Since none of the individual communities
were large enough to justify a processing center for recyclables by
themselves, by banding together they felt they could increase the volume
of materials enough to justify a processing center. The communities ranged in size from 8,600 to 58 in population, so the
“Container Discharge System” was selected for use because
by simply changing the size and/or number of the containers, we could
modify the system to fit each community.
The first containers
were put out during May of 1992. Once word had gone out that we were
starting a recycling program in the area, we had a number of other communities
that wanted to join the program, so by May, we had 33 sites in 21 communities
in the program. We had purchased our fiberglass containers from C. F.
Maier Composites of Lamar, CO, and had designed & built a semi-
trailer for the collection vehicle, so the first collections started
on June 9, 1992. We had also set up a processing center in Las Animas,
CO., where Bent County had a small minimum-security prison. They were
looking for some way to keep the prisoners occupied in a useful manner,
so we developed an agreement to use some of the prisoners to operate
the processing center. We agreed to pay the prisoners who worked at
the center as well as the guard/supervisor to oversee the prisoners.
During the first month we collected 220 cu yds of material of which
154 yds were old newspaper.
purchased a horizontal baler to bale ONP, and steel or aluminum cans.
We also obtained a magnetic can separator and a small front-end loader
and forklift to move the materials around.
Over the next
several years we had a number of other communities in the region that
wanted to join the Recycling Association. As a result, by the end of
2002, after 10 years of operation, the Association had grown to 46 communities
in 13 Counties of Colorado and several communities in one county in
Kansas. The program now covers almost 40,000 sq. miles with a total
population of approximately 100,000 people. The program now collects
over 1,000 cu yds per month and has operated for 10 years at a yearly
cost of less than $2.00 per person.
The South East
& East Central Recycling Association has received numerous awards
from the Southwest Public Recycling Association and the Colorado Association
for Recycling for its program. The program has been replicated in Canada
by Recycle Plus located in Grande Prairie, Alberta, whose program is
currently covering over 50,000 sq. miles with a population of approximately
200,000. Also by the Headwaters Recycling program out of Basin, MT which
covers 6 counties in Montana and parts of Yellowstone Park. There are
also several smaller programs that cover one to four counties. If you
would like to obtain a free video on this program, e-mail a request
to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-336-5948.