Since opening its new location last month, Karl's Hauling feels confident about its new drop-off recycling system, while still eyeing the possibility of providing curbside pick up for Tiffin residents.
Vicki Turco, co-business partner of Karl's Hauling, said the new recycling drop-off location at 72 Adams St. is beginning to see more recyclers, and a better response than it did initially.
"There's been a little more people coming in through here," she said. "A lot of people only take in their recycling once a month, so they go to the other end and realize it's closed, they come here. So it's starting to increase more."
Turco said the ultimate goal for Karl's is to start collecting recyclables through a curbside service. She said she hopes Karl's will go curbside within the next five or six months.
Tim Wasserman, director of OSS Solid Waste District, agreed curbside recycling is ultimately the best option for recycling
"In a city (the size of Tiffin), curbside makes the most sense," Wasserman said. "We have been serving for a number of years with a regular drop-off program. It works, but I don't think it's the best way to do it."
Rich Cline, chairman of the streets, sidewalks and sewers committee for Tiffin City Council, said he also hopes to eventually move toward a curbside system, but he said cost is the main drawback.
"I'm sure the trash haulers would provide it as a service now if the consumers were willing to pay for it," he said. "But at this time, the costs of it are just too great for the consumers to provide that as a service. I think it's definitely the goal, for us to be doing a curbside recycling program with the trash haulers, but it will take some time. I definitely think that's where we will end up eventually."
Wasserman said Karl's current drop-off system serves as the best option for recycling, until the curbside pickup becomes a more possible option.
The biggest transition recyclers face with the new system is they now have to separate recyclable items, as opposed to bringing all of the items in a single container.
"Everybody had their stuff mixed together," she said. "It's starting to get better, where everybody is starting to separate it how we want to do it here."
Turco said Karl's only accepts plastics No. 1 and 2, aluminum cans, steel cans, glass, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office paper, paperboard and cardboard. She said Karl's is hoping to start accepting electronics, such as DVD players, computers and cell phones, as soon as mid-October.
Jeff Turco, co-business partner for Karl's Hauling, said the biggest hassle with the new recycling drop-off is that people keep bringing in materials that are not Karl's does not accept for recycling. He said the most common items brought in that cannot be recycled include toys, packaging that does not have numbers on it, gas cans, motor oil jugs and containers that aren't cleaned out.
Karl's Hauling offers assistance sorting the recyclables, but urges people to have items presorted.
Cline said having a private business such as Karl's handle the recycling duties in town has many benefits.
"Obviously, the benefits for the taxpayers are that they aren't paying for it directly," he said. "There's also a chance of increased efficiency any time a private business is handling something versus government. Also there's, hopefully, a chance for Karl's to make some profit from their recycling and, hopefully, be able to offer even better services than what was offered before."
Wasserman said he does not anticipate much difference in the number of people recycling at Karl's new drop-off location, compared to the old site, but thinks many people in Tiffin care about recycling.
"Obviously, the residents of the city really embrace recycling," Wasserman said. "We saw a really good response at the drop-off that we ran at the Tiffin Parks and Rec. I think Seneca County residents have expressed a real interest in recycling. We did have a lot of traffic at that site; it was getting to be overwhelmed a little bit because participation was so high. I think that says a lot about the residents of Tiffin and Seneca County. They really want to recycle."