Curbside recycling has come to Brownsville making it easier for residents to rid their homes of recyclable items without having to drive a few miles to a recycling center.
For a monthly fee of $15, Redfish Recycling will provide residents with a red-colored recycling bin they can place their recyclable items in and have them picked up on a bi-weekly basis.
The top of each bin contains a list of what items can and cannot be recycled. Plastics and aluminum will be accepted. Glass items are not on the list.
Redfish Recycling began accepting signups for the service last week.
“This will be the first residential recycling company in Brownsville, so these services have never been offered so it’s really exciting that we are going to able to offer this,” said Daniella Lopez, marketing and sales manager for Redfish Recycling.
“We have a team of people that are excited about the environment and helping us sign people up,” she said.
The service is being offered to specific areas at first because of the routes that trucks will be allowed to follow in Brownsville and Rancho Viejo. The service areas are expected to grow.
The bins will be dropped off to residents who request them. They will receive an email containing information as to what days the recycling trucks will be in their neighborhood. The bins need to be placed in front of homes so the trucks can pick up the recyclable items.
“The trucks will go down the middle of the streets so it can pick up on either side. It’s not like the trash bins that you can pick up only on one side and have to make the entire loop” around the street, Lopez said.
Lopez believes the public has wanted this type of service for a long time because of the convenience it will bring them.
“Since I was in elementary school, I have been a huge recycler. Me and my husband we drive around until we have three bags of recycling in our cars until we can finally make it downtown,” she said. “I think this will really help our community.”
“This is an initiative for our community to make it healthier, make it a cleaner place for our environment. We live so close to the ocean that it is just essential that we do this for our future. I think it was just about time that it is actually being done,” Lopez said.
Rose Timmer, of Healthy Communities Brownsville, is helping with the program since she launched a similar program years ago having to do with recycling.
Timmer said she tried to get the Brownsville City Commission several years ago to approve a recycling program that would have cost residents less than $5 a month, but the issue was voted down.
She is thankful that Dean Putegnat, founder of Redfish Recycling, decided to take this initiative on his own to offer curbside recycling to Brownsville residents.
“Good for him for having the resources to do it and the initiative. I think it is a good thing for Brownsville, I think it is long overdue,” Timmer said.
Timmer said two curbside recycling pilot programs conducted in 2010 and 2012 had positive results that indicated Brownsville residents were excited about having curbside recycling in the city.
“He (Putegnat) has the capability of handling the whole city, he has the capability of sorting it. We are doing single street recycling. You put everything in one bin, and he takes it to his plant,” where workers there sort through recycled items.
“One will do all the cardboard, one will do all the plastic bottles. That is their job, and they drop into a big hole, and it gets gathered and bailed and then sold as a commodity,” Timmer said.
The items are stored for a while before they are sold as a commodity.
Timmer said Redfish Recycling is offering a promotion right now and for everyone who signs up, the company will make a donation to Healthy Communities Brownsville. The promo code is “Rose.”