New private recycling dropoff planned for Champaign

New private recycling dropoff planned for Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Frequent users of the city's recycling dropoff center who were wondering where they would bring their recyclables when the center closes need no longer worry – if they're willing to pay for the service.

Steven Rosenberg, CEO of Champaign-based Green Purpose LLC, said he plans to open a recycling dropoff site on Jan. 1 as the city plans to close its recycling center to save money and accommodate a new at-home recycling pickup program.

Because the city's recycling pickup programs apply only to addresses within the city limits, that left a lot of Champaign County residents without a recycling outlet.

But Rosenberg's center, about a block from the city's site on Hagan Street, is "going to be accepting everything that the current center accepts, but we're going to be bringing a little more to the table than that."

Customers will still be able to bring the typical recyclables – newsprint, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and the like – but Rosenberg said the new recycling center will expand that list. Green Purpose will accept things like ink cartridges and potentially wood pallets, he said.

But customers will have to be willing to pay for the service that they have for years been getting for free. Basic membership will cost $5 monthly, Rosenberg said, and users can also opt to buy a premium membership for $10 monthly.

That premium price will give members access to more services like a rewards points program and a "materials exchange program." Rosenberg said the materials exchange would allow members to get rid of items that are not necessarily recyclable via more traditional means.

"I don't mean necessarily anything, (like) trash," Rosenberg said. "But if you clean out your garage, you're going to have a lot of stuff that may not be recyclable, but it's still usable."

But will people be willing to pay?

"That was our initial concern," Rosenberg said. But that is why Green Purpose tries to offer additional services that customers are not accustomed to receiving from the city for free, he added.

The group is hoping to have 3,000 members signed up before its New Year's Day grand opening.

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willie-bill wrote on November 05, 2010 at 2:11 pm

The news this will become a private, fee based operation is distressing. I am a resident that lives outside the city and therefore pay monthly for private garbage disposal. My private service does offer recycling but at nearly double the monthly rate. For years I have used the city's drop-off site to minimize my impact to our landfills. This is out of a sence of being a responsible citizen. I realize this has come at the expence of the taxpayers of the City of Champaign and understand the cutbacks. Thanks to all of you for allowing many of us this service through the years. I am sorry but I will not pay extra fees for the privilage of trucking my recyclables to town. I will now make use of my trash services plan. Good luck to Mr. Rosenberg in his endeavor.

Green Purpose wrote on November 08, 2010 at 4:11 pm
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Green Purpose would love to be able to offer a recycling drop off free of charge, but the funding must come from somewhere, so why not have it come from the people that are using the facility? For a low monthly fee of $5 you can have unlimited drop off recycling and also access to REUSEALUTION recycling. Our goal is to create a network of people who are interested in living sustainably in our community.

FireMe wrote on November 05, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Free recycle drop off is still available at the transfer station, 915 W. Saline Ct (North Lincoln).