Recycling center closes Saturday as curbside service begins

Bo Joshlin, Tom Palacio and Taylor Dobbs hoist a load of cardboard from a pickup into the large container onsite at the Huvar Recycling center. The city will begin picking up recyclable materials at curbside beginning Tuesday.
  • TON BY TON:

  • Cans and aluminum: no data available

    Plastic: 39 tons

    Cardboard and office paper mix: 463 tons

    Cans and aluminum: no data available

    Plastic: 44 tons

    Cardboard: 260 tons

    Office paper and mail: 206 tons

    Cans and aluminum: 2 tons

    Plastic: ...

  • SHOW ALL »
  • TON BY TON:

    Cans and aluminum: no data available

    Plastic: 39 tons

    Cardboard and office paper mix: 463 tons

    Cans and aluminum: no data available

    Plastic: 44 tons

    Cardboard: 260 tons

    Office paper and mail: 206 tons

    Cans and aluminum: 2 tons

    Plastic: 54 tons

    Newspaper: 182 tons

    Cardboard: 291 tons

    Office paper mix: 175 tons

It did not take long for the dumpsters to start filling up when the Huvar Recycling Center opened for its last days.

City and county residents, students and business owners are using this time as one last chance to empty their recycling bins before the Huvar center, 124 Huvar Street, closes its gates for good Saturday.

But true to the adage: When one door closes, another opens.

Although the recycling drop-off facility's closure marks a new direction in the city's recycling program with the start of curbside service, for some, the closure is bittersweet.

Tommy Barker, 73, of Victoria, has made weekly trips to drop off recycling at Huvar since it opened.

"Waste not, want not," Barker said. "I don't like to throw anything away."

While he expects curbside service to make life easier for him and his wife, he worries twice-monthly pickup is not often enough for their household.

"My cart is already full," Barker said. "They (the city) need to pick it up once a week, or else I might end up having to put recycling in the trash."

Since the city opened its first recycling center in August 1993, thousands of tons of materials has been given a second life.

From January 2011 to 2012, people dropped off nearly 2,000 tons of aluminum, plastic, newspaper, cardboard and paper at Huvar.

"Every ton we recycle adds a day to the landfill," said Darryl Lesak, assistant director of Environmental Services.

Jerry James, director of Environmental Services, estimated the city hauls about 35 tons of garbage daily to the landfill.

"There's always environmental risks when you stick something in the ground," James said.

For Greg Garvel, 48, of Inez, who burns some of his garbage, recycling reduces the environmental effects of air pollution.

"We've been recycling in some form or fashion since forever," he said.

He calls himself a faithful recycler.

Whether composting food waste to add nutrients to the soil or recycling metals and old appliances to keep them out of the landfill, recycling is a high-priority in his life.

He makes twice-monthly trips to Huvar to drop off paper, plastic and metal from his house, his cousin's and his brother's.

"We're sad that this is closing," he said. "We don't have Waste Management. This was our way of not having to burn plastics in the trash barrel."

With the Precinct 3 recycling station opening Saturday at the Victoria Regional Airport, Garvel said he plans to continue recycling.

Meanwhile, Lesak and James are looking forward to getting statistics back on the curbside program to quantify savings.

Lesak said he expects traffic at the Huvar facility to be "a little heavier" than normal as residents rush to drop off items before curbside service comes into effect.

James said recycling saves money in the long run because the city will not have to expand the landfill as often.

Collections will be taken at Huvar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday.

List of addresses assigned to pickup dates:

Curbside first day of pickup

map of neighborhoods and pickup dates:

Recycling routes