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City of Bozeman to take a closer look at curbside recycling program

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 12 2012 06:24:00 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The City of Bozeman has around 1,100 recycling customers.  As it stands now, only those with a high volume of recyclables are given multiple bins to sort their own items.

"We have a process where we come by and pick it up and had sort those recyclable materials...It's a one person operation.  We have one truck and one that basically serves the whole city," says Bozeman Public Works Director Craig Woolard.

Woolard says, they've been doing it this way for years now and as the program continues to grow, he says it's time to take another look at the service.

That's why, come the first of the year, the city will conduct a study to determine whether curbside hand sorting of recyclables is the best way to serve their customers.

"Our end goal is to try to look at the number of options to do recycling and pick the one that's most effective and efficient for Bozeman.  It may be that we continue with the curbside sort but there are some other options to look at, ways to handle a combined recycling stream that we want to evaluate and see what's most effective," says Woolard.   

We wanted to know how locals go about recycling and whether current customers are happy with their curbside service.  We found a lot of folks who take their own recycling.

"We just have big boxes and take it to wherever, behind the Home Depot or something," says Bozeman resident Elaine Kelly.

Bozeman resident Michelle Cook are her family have to sort their own recyclables but Cook says they don't mind.  She says it's still more convenient than taking it themselves.

"My parents were always super-busy and so they didn't have time to recycle...If we had it in our car, it would always spill and get our cars really gross, too," explains Cook.

Bozeman local Forrest Gile says he doesn't have to sort his own items but he does anyway.

"They probably have people standing in a line that they have to take out every little element, every little piece of trash and so, I feel like I'm just making it easier for them," says Gile.

Folks with the Bozeman Public Works Department say they're always looking for ways to make their programs more effective while providing the best possible service.