By Maranda FlynnNovember 7, 2012
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - Mountain Vista Communities has completed its first year of the Fort Huachuca Solid Waste partnership with the City of Sierra Vista Department of Public Works, on July 18.
Mountain Vista Communities offers the residents the ability to recycle materials that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. They provide the blue recycle bins to the residents to store recyclables until the designated day of pickup.
Mountain Vista Communities follows the same collection schedule as the city. The "1&1 Weekly Refuse & Recycling" schedule has just started on the fort. "Fort Huachuca has a Monday and Thursday route and a Tuesday and Friday route. The first day in each route is trash pickup and the second day is recyclable pickup," said Darrin Stensby, refuse supervisor, Public Works Environmental Services Group.
Items that are picked up for recycling include metal cans, types 1 and 2 plastic containers, water bottles, paper, cardboard and paperboard (cereal boxes, shoe boxes and paper towel rolls). Residents are placing some items in the blue bins that are not recyclable. These include glass, styrofoam, diapers, frozen food boxes and electronics. To get a complete list of what is acceptable to be recycled, visit the Mountain Vista Communities housing office or www.SierraVistaAZ.gov.
Stensby said, "To be honest with you, it was interesting to have the opportunity to be part of a contract [with Fort Huachuca], and I thought it was going to be tricky. We are up on the fort with all the government stuff but it has really been pleasant and smooth from day-one."
According to the year-end progress report, the total amount of regular trash collected on Fort Huachuca from July 2011 -- June 2012 was 964 tons. The total amount of residential curbside recyclables collected was 182 tons. This made up 19 percent of Fort Huachuca's residential solid waste. This year, the goal is to increase the amount of recyclables collected within the Mountain Vista Communities.
Once recyclables are collected on Fort Huachuca, they are sent to the Cochise County Materials Recovery Facility, located off State Route 90. It is sorted and cleaned and then compacted and baled. Once a full load is prepared, it is then shipped to a recycling plant and processed.
More and more of today's products are being manufactured with all or partially recycled content. Stensby noted, "A lot of plastics, believe it or not, are going into manufacturing clothing. They have the technology now to melt the plastic and they make these fine little silk-like threads of plastic and it is woven into clothing." Recycled materials are also used in things such as carpeting, benches and pedestrian bridges. The more the residents recycle, the more they put back into their own community. The partnership between the City of Sierra Vista and Mountain Vista Communities assists in the recycling loop. Over 50 percent of everyday household trash can be recycled. It only takes a moment to separate recyclables from the other waste. There are magnets and pamphlets available at the housing office to place near one's trashcan to ensure that the correct items are being placed in the correct bin.
Brenda Foote, management analyst, City of Sierra Vista, said, "The fort is doing really well with their trash and recycling days but they can do more. They can take more stuff out of their trash bin that is recyclable, and that is what we want to see."
Mountain Vista Communities also offers a free pickup of green yard waste (grass clippings, tree trimmings and other organic yard waste). For this service, contact maintenance at 458.5885. There are two 20 cubic yard roll-off bins located at the maintenance office as well for larger loads and bulky waste.
For more information for the Mountain Vista Communities recycling program, a detailed collection or holiday schedule, or general questions, call 458.5885 or go to www.mountainvistacommunities.com.