You may soon see a different looking garbage truck rolling down the streets.
"I gotta get used to it," said one worker as he stood to drive.
The iRecycle truck has a steering wheel on the right side and the driver stands while driving, making it easier to get out and pick up the trash.
Dothan's iRecycle pilot program picks up paper, plastics and aluminum. Twenty eight percent of the people given the option to participate in the pilot program signed up for the curbside recycling program. Of that, workers say 90 percent are actually following through.
"I've seen a lot of people put out a lot of things today," said one worker.
While it may not look like trash to treasure, the items in the little blue bin can really add up to some big benefits. The trash is separated into two streams - one for plastics and metals, the other for mixed paper like magazines, newspapers and cardboard.
"For the mixed paper, I believe we are getting around $100 a ton. On the other products, we get $10 a ton because there has to be some sorting that has to be done back at the facility," said Ken Rice, Assistant Environmental Services Manager.
As far as a monetary benefit, workers say they hope to break even. But when you factor in the cost for the equipment, maintenance and staff, the price per ton of trash may not turn a profit.
"I think if this goes ok then the whole city can do it and it will take a lot of burden off the other guys that have to pick up the green cans."
The program will run at least three months so workers can gather enough data to present the results of the program to the city commission. It could take as long as six months before city leaders vote to carry the program citywide.
One thing you can do to help workers out is to separate your stuff. That way, when they take it to the truck, it will be easy to separate and it will require less work when they get back to the recycling plant.
If you don't have the curbside program in your area but would still like to recycle in Dothan, you can drop off your trash at three locations. They are located at Westgate Softball Complex - Recreation Drive, Dothan Utilities Complex - 200 Kilgore Drive, and Eastside Fire Station #5 - 668 Ross Clark Circle.
Dothan Waste Management accepts the following as recyclable material:
-aluminum and steel food and beverage cans
-newspapers and inserts
-broken down corrugated cardboard boxes*
-computer printout paper
-white office paper
*please do not put cereal boxes, paper towel or toilet paper holder rolls, etc.
For more information, click on http://www.dothan.org/depts/pworks/pubworksenvironmental.htm