Recycling bins in Panora notify citizens of upcoming change.

By Rich Wicks | Times Vedette

The three large yellow recycling receptacles on East Clay Street in Panora now have signage informing the public of a change in what is accepted. Beginning March 31, the only items accepted there will be cardboard and paper.

Jotham Arber, County Health Services Director, provided some background on the situation.

“As of the end of March, what we’re going to be doing is shifting what we collect in our large bins,” said Arber. “We’re still going to collect paper, and we’re still going to collect cardboard.”

Arber explained that the main reason for the change is that a similar change has been implemented at the landfill in Carroll County, which is where Guthrie County recycling and garbage are taken. He added that another reason was that the bins have often been misused.

“The plastics and the comingled…a lot of them are not recyclable, and a lot of them were not being put in there in the right way to be recycled,” Arber said. “And then we were getting a lot of people who were using those recycling bins as garbage cans.”

To show the extent of the problem, Arber shared a recent statistic.

“In the last three months, the number of tons that we’ve recycled has been 17,” said Arber. “The number of tons that we’ve had to throw away, because it’s been people putting in Styrofoam, people putting in dirty containers, people throwing their garbage into those…we have thrown away 32 tons.”

Arber explained the options for recycling.

“Our goal is to continue recycling. Every town should still have curbside pickup through their garbage haulers. But the big bins were put there for country folk who didn’t have the curbside pickup,” he said. “Our hopes with going back to curbside pickup is that the haulers can kind of monitor that.”

According to Arber, anyone needing a curbside recycling bin can get one from their city or from the transfer station for $10. Arber also noted another option.

“People can still come out to the transfer station for free to take any of that recycling,” said Arber. “We’re open every day of the week, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and then on Mondays we’re open until 6 p.m.”

Questions can be directed to Guthrie County Solid Waste at 641-747-8320 or 641-747-3764.