Yakima prepares to test curbside recycling

Yakima prepares to test curbside recycling »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima is preparing to test a pilot curbside recycling program after its citizen survey results showed most people in town were in favor.

Kerra Young says recycling is a way of life for her family.

"I think there needs to be more emphasis on recycling and more education and just accessibility to recycle in our county," said Young.

More people share Kerra's thinking. Now, Yakima says it's time to test curbside recycling, once again.

About 1,000 homes will be selected to a part of the pilot program. Each of those homes will be given plastic recycle bags to fill over a 12 week period and put out with the trash.

That means the same truck that grabs your garbage will grab the bag full of recyclables.

"We decided that, before we actually did a pilot program, we wanted to do a few tests," said Yakima Refuse & Recycling Manager Nancy Fortier.

Testing for answers to keep bags from ending up damaged. KIMA watched as crews tried thicker bags to see how they hold up under pressure. They also loaded bags into trucks that were half full and not packed tight.

But, there's still work to do; Yakima's trying to find the cheapest recycling option for you.

"What would be the potential cost to taxpayers for the recycling program?" KIMA asked.

"This program at this particular time, there would be no charge for that," said Fortier.

However, there could be a fee eventually. Yakima must consider things like the price of supplying the bags and how many trips trucks need to make to get the job done.

Janell Hein does her own recycling and says curbside service won't change that.

"It's always busy and people like the extra cash," said Hein.

Kerra thinks it's long overdue.

"I think it's a very positive step," said Young.

Yakima says it will take that step after a few more tests.

Curbside recycling is available now through private companies.

Yakima hopes to start its pilot program in April and said glass will not be collected.

Nancy Fortier said education will play a big part in the process; teaching people what's allowed in the bags and what's not.

Richland established its own program recently after several pilot runs. People there pay about six dollars a month.

Yakima City Council will have the final say on any city recycling program here.