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Committee takes new look at recycling

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. But not in Port Orchard, where this well-known slogan only applies to newspapers and magazines, glass and cans, and some plastics.

In unincorporated Kitsap County — including communities as close to Port Orchard as Manchester and Olalla — residents can also recycle cardboard, paper and mail, paperback and phone books, paper food boxes, paper egg cartons, gift wrap, and milk and juice cartons.

“Port Orchard currently lags behind the entire county in what citizens are able to recycle,” said downtown Port Orchard resident Fred Chang. “The good news is that there may be an opportunity to change this.”

Stephanie Bailey, currently a member of the Port Orchard Planning Commission, was recently appointed to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC).

“In my opinion, (recycling) isn’t a choice — it’s a responsibility,” Bailey said.

SWAC was scheduled to meet with Finance Committee of the Port Orchard City Council next week, but the meeting had to be rescheduled.

The discussion will focus on the city’s contract with Waste Management Northwest (Brem-Air Disposal) in hopes of improving the contract to include a larger array of recyclables.

Port Orchard recyclables are collected every other week by Waste Management Northwest. Curbside recycling is required for all Port Orchard residents and objects must be sorted and in their designated bins to ensure pick up.

For this, Port Orchard residents pay Waste Management Northwest $2.68 per month.

According to Waste Management Northwest, the cost of collecting, sorting and remanufacturing some items is more than the value of the recyclable. Residents would have to pay a higher premium to be able to recycle these types of goods, but only basic recycling would be required.

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