Vermillion ready to launch recycling program

Neighborhood meetings have been held, and approximately 2,700 pairs of blue and green bins have been ordered.

Once they arrive, they will be distributed to Vermillion residents to allow the city's dream of offering curbside recycling to become a reality.

"The bins will be distributed between now and Sept. 8, said Evie Johnson, recycling educator. "They will be delivered to the residents' households if they are qualifying residents, and a qualifying resident is somebody who lives in a single-family home or a multi-family unit with five or less units."

Bins will be delivered soon to residential addresses throughout the city.

"The bins will be delivered either in front of a person's house, or behind their house if they have an alley," Johnson said. "Wherever the bins are delivered is where the residents should place the bins for curbside pick up."

Once the curbside program gets underway Sept. 8, residents will be asked to place their recycling bins ready for pick up by 7 a.m. on the day designated for their neighborhood.

"People can put their recycling out the night before as long as it doesn't blow around," she said, "and there are ways you stack can stack your bins to make sure their contents don't blow around."

People who need can't easily get their bins out to their curbs may call Johnson at 677-7159.

"We'll put people's names on a list, and we'll be able to work with them," she said.

Four days a week

Beginning early next month, the city will begin picking up recyclables from curbsides on four days each week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

"Residents have been sent postcards that tell them what day their recyling pick up day is," Johnson said.

She added that the city will only be picking up recyclables. Garbage pick up service in Vermillion will continue to be the job of private contractors.

"One question that we get asked a lot is, 'Is the recycling pick up going to be the same day as my garbage day?' The answer is no, it won't be the same day as your garbage day; people's garbage (pick up) day will stay the same.

"If someone's garbage day and recycling pick up day should be the same, it would just be by chance," Johnson said.

City officials are aware that many homeowners have either purchased or built special racks to hold their trash cans beside their houses or garages, and may desire to have something similar to hold their recycling bins.

"That's absolutely okay, as long as the bins are easy to access by our recycling crew," she said. "We wouldn't want anything that would prohibit the crew from picking up the bins, or that would have the recycling in it in such a manner that it wouldn't be easy or quick to get out."

The curbside recycling program will be run completely by the city of Vermillion, with city crew utilizing a city-owned recycling truck and trailer.

The materials picked up by the crew will be taken to Vermillion's recycling center.

"The materials will be sorted when they are put in the trailer, but at the recycling center, they will be sorted even further," Johnson said. "The materials will then be shipped out, just like the recycling does currently."

Curb Check

Johnson and other city officials have Vermillion residents gain awareness of the upcoming program through a public relations campaign, and through a program called Curb Check, which consisted of city officials making direct visits to various neighborhoods this summer.

"We held six of these programs, and they were really successful," she said. "We went out to people's blocks for a 10- to 15-minute meeting. I would give a three-minute presentation about recycling, and then we would have time for the people to ask questions.

"This worked out really well; we were able to talk to a lot of people," she said. "I think we had 170 people attend the meetings, which was a great number for us, with the hopes that those people who went to those meetings would be able to be our environmental warriors, to be able to go out and talk about curbside recycling to their neighbors."

Citizens, she said, are excited about the curbside recycling program. Since it something new to the city, they also had plenty of questions.

"That was really exciting to see, because people were interested in not only when they needed to put out their recycling, but also in how the entire program was going to work," Johnson said.

A second program known as Business Break also help educate people about curbside recycling.

"This was a lot like Curb Check, except we would go into a business during employees' break time and do a 15 minute presentation on curbside recycling," she said. "The program was designed to help make employees aware of the curbside program."

A new set of Vermillion residents – mainly University of South Dakota students – will be arriving in the city this weekend as fall classes begin next week.

Vermillion officials have taken steps to make sure that students that live in housing that is part of the recycling program are aware of how it works and what they should do.

"With this program, we've done a lot of really different marketing techniques," Johnson said. "We've been using new media, like Facebook, in order to reach people that would otherwise be a difficult target  audience. Facebook has been really successful with them (students). We've posted our Curb Check events on that, we've posted the literature, we've posted the start-up dates – basically any information that we have in hard form we've posted on our Facebook page as well."

People can find this information on Facebook by logging on to Vermillion Recycles.

Qualifying city residents soon will receive one large green bin and one small blue bin provided by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant that was received by Vermillion.

Items for the

large green bin:

Plastics #1 and #2

The city of Vermillion recycles plastics #1 and #2. Pop bottles, water bottles, and juice bottles are #1 plastics. Milk jugs, vinegar bottles, laundry detergent bottles and shampoo bottles are examples of #2 plastics. The plastic identification codes are often placed on the bottom of the bottle. Please rinse milk jugs and discard all caps and lids. Plastic containers may be crushed to allow more to fit in the green bins.

Aluminum cans

Aluminum cans are recycled in Vermillion. People are encouraged to rinse out cans to help keep bugs and rodents out of their bins.

Tin cans

The city also recycles steel/tin cans. People are urged to wash out the contents of the can. Labels should be removed from tin cans, and the lids of cans should be placed inside of them. The top of the cans should then be bent to keep the sharp lids from falling out.

Cans, like plastic jugs, may be crushed so that more may fit in the bin.

Items for the

small blue bin:


magazines and catalogs

Vermillion recycles newspapers and magazines. Any paper item that is included with a newspaper may be recycled with the newspaper. People are asked to remove rubber bands and plastic bags that may come with their newspapers. Magazines and catalogs are also recycled by the city. Magazines and newspapers should be separated by sorting them. Placing magazines on top of newspapers will keep them from blowing away in the bin.

Office paper

and junk mail

Office paper and junk mail are recycled in the city's curbside recycling program. Residents are asked to place office paper and junk mail in a paper or reusable bag to help collection go smoother for city  employees.


Vermillion accepts flattened corrugated cardboard. The city is unable to accept cereal boxes, pop boxes, and beer boxes. By placing cardboard between bins, citizens will prevent it from blowing away and help save space in their bins.

Johnson said the city's curbside recycling program is designed to be flexible, recognizing that some weeks, households may not have a large amount of recyclables. At such times, residents may skip putting out their bins for a week, if they desire.

Citizens will be charged $3.50 per month, which includes tax, for the curbside service.

"It will be added on to people's utility bills," Johnson said.

This new recycling service is being made possible in Vermillion thanks to a grant/loan package from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that will help offset the costs of needed equipment.

Johnson added that city officials hope everything goes smoothly once the program begins, but recognizes that Vermillion is about to offer a service that will be new to not only the citizens, but also the employees who will be providing it.

"Even the best plans might have a little wrinkle in them here and there," she said. "We expect that. We're willing to be flexible, to work around problems and make them better. It just might take some patience, but we'll get there.

"This will be a really exciting, new endeavor for the city of Vermillion," Johnson said.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>