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Recycling off to solid start

Just over two months in, Estevan's new recycling program appears to be off to a strong start.

Just over two months in, Estevan's new recycling program appears to be off to a strong start.

Logan Baniulis of Regens Disposal, the City of Estevan's recycling and garbage contractor, said the company has been pleased with the response of residents since the program debuted in September in the Plesasantdale area. It was rolled out to the rest of the city in October.

Baniulis said there have been some issues with some garbage being mixed in with the recycling materials. He noted they've had similar issues in other communities they service and after educating the public, the problem improved. With that in mind, a letter was sent out to residents at the start of November reminding them of what can and can't go into the bins.

"We just wanted to remind people how to recycle," he said. "(In other towns they service) we sent a letter out and found that the quality of the material improved quite a bit. We are hoping again today that it is better than it has been so it is a little easier on the people sorting through the material and the end product is better.

"It's been OK. As a whole, the load is quite clean but there is still bags of trash and food contaminated stuff is a big one because it all needs to be pulled out. In Estevan, I would say it has probably been better than some. It's not to the point where we are running around worrying about the material. The material is going to make the grade."

Baniulis added because the multi-material recycling program is different than any service offered to Estevan in the past, they did expect there to be some issues, but he feels once the education process is complete things should smooth out.

In terms of numbers, Baniulis said as of Nov. 1, Regens had collected just over 54,000 kilograms of recycling materials. The average cart has weighed 11.4kgs, which Baniulis said is a solid number.

"I often think about the amount of material that we ship out of the recycle depot in Bienfait. Just think of it in volume and size, if you took all of that material and put it in a landfill of how much space it would take up, it's staggering," he said.

"We ship two to three loads a week out of that facility. Just the sheer volume of material, after being compacted, it's astounding really. I didn't really have any concrete expectations but there has been a lot of material, so we are all quite happy."

Baniulis estimates that on any given day, roughly 50 to 70 per cent of households are using their recycling bins, but feels the participation level is likely higher since not every household needs their bin emptied on collection day.

"On a given collection day we are picking up 50 to 70 per cent but I believe the participation rate is probably a fair bit higher than that."

Baniulis said he encourages residents to visit their website - - to sign up to their reminder service. Residents can have a reminder sent through a variety of ways to let them know when their recycling collection day is.

"We are quite happy about all of the positive feedback, the office staff here loves taking a pleasant phone call. We welcome questions; we would rather somebody call and ask instead of putting some materials in the cart that isn't prepared properly."