Going Green(er)

The City of Yakima could be getting a little greener in the near future -- today marks the first pickup day of a recycling project the city is testing out.

Paula Vest has been recycling her own waste for years.

It's a habit she taught her kids, who live in bigger cities already using a recycling system.

"They have a heart attack when they come here that we're not recycling all of this stuff," said Vest.

Now Vest may not have to take that extra step.

The City of Yakima launched it's pilot recycling project today-- about 550 people in a neighborhood near Kissel Park have replaced their large garbage bins with three smaller containers; one for waste, one for yard debris, and the other for recycling.

The next four months will show if people will recycle enough to support a processing facility in the future.

After four months, waste management will present their findings to the city council, who will decide if a recycling project would be feasible within the city.

"There's no reason why people should be throwing all this stuff away if it can be put to good use," said Vest.

In fact, waste management says most of the things thrown away are recyclable.

"In the week that we've done it, we had half as much garbage, we almost filled up the recycle bin," said Vest.

"We're able to reduce the volume of waste that we have to long-haul, and we save money for the residents and for the city," said Loretta Zammarchi from the city solid waste and recycling, "It also extends the life of the present landfill."

Waste management says the current landfill in Terrace Heights has about 10 years of space left for waste, before the city will need to find alternate dumping sites.

They say the recycling program will buy them more time if extended throughout the city.

"It's about time, I'm really glad, everybody needs to get on the bandwagon," said Vest.

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