Portland to launch recycling program
The Portland Progressive,
December 17, 2023
By Scott Wilson

Portland Mayor Kenneth Wilber announced Tuesday that the City of Portland is joining with QRS Recycling in Madison to begin a new commercial single stream recycling program. “We had a recycling program before that was run by the county resources department in Gallatin,“ said Wilber. “It has been about two years since that program ended and I get phone calls, almost every other day about when we are going to have recycling.” Over a span of 33 years, QRS has emerged as a nationally capable recycling company. From a single plant opened in 1974, the company has grown to cover three major markets and ship a variety of recyclable products worldwide. QRS is the recycler of choice for those looking to add value to their bottom line and improve their recycling efforts. “It is not that we didn’t want to do a recycling program in the past. But we checked with BFI and Waste Management and several other companies and decided that we didn’t have enough tonnage to justify them coming to Portland,” said Wilber. “We found out about QRS through one of our local industries. We contacted them and we’re going to do a pilot program with them for a few months to see how it works out.” Under the new program, there will be three locations in town where the garbage will be recycled. Containers will be at the city of Portland maintenance shops on Morningside Drive, the city’s public safety building and the parking lot of H.G. Hills. “This program will be a little different than the program we’ve had in the past. You had to pre-sort it before. Now, it is single stream and you can put it all in one container,“ Wilber said. “This way, QRS will sort everything later. “The benefit of the program to the city is, if everyone will participate, the tonnage we will get from recycling will be that much less tonnage we will have to take to county,” Wilber added. “It costs us $42 a ton to take to Gallatin, so every pound we would save would benefit us. And it is also good for the environment.” Some of the items that can be recycled in the dumpster included: cardboard, paper, 1-7 plastics, aluminum cans and tin cans. No glass is allowed. “We’re hoping to have the containers here in town next week, hopefully by Tuesday. I want to try to encourage people to take all their Christmas recyclables to get recycled at these sites,” Wilber said. “That is a rough time for the accumulation of garbage.” “The cost to the city is $400 a month and that’s to cover their transportation cost,“ Wilber added. “We’re not in any long-term contract with them. They’re going to pick up our containers and weigh them so we can keep track of tonnage. QRS hasn’t done this with any other city, so they’re excited, too.”

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