CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The owner of the company running the Slack Street recycling center hopes people will stop placing recyclables in the clear plastic bags provided by the city of Charleston.
George Hunyadi, owner of West Virginia Recycling Services, broached the topic during Tuesday's Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority meeting.
Hunyadi said the bags make the recycling process at the center inefficient.
"I have to have someone standing there ripping open every clear bag," he said. "It's a nightmare."
Hunyadi would rather see residents use the plastic bins that also are handed out by the city.
Charleston distributes clear plastic trash bags to city residents who are current on their refuse bills. The bags can be used for curbside disposal of recycling or yard waste, said Gary Taylor, public works director.
The city has distributed the bags for years.
Charleston Councilman Edward Talkington, chairman of the city's environment and recycling committee, said he would be willing to consider discontinuing use of the bags for recycling.
However, he said keeping residents from using them that way would be difficult.
"The bags do have certain advantages, particularly when you're dealing with paper," he said. "The bags keep things from getting wet after they're put out."
The bags also are easier to carry to the curb, Talkington said. "But it might be possible to get them to use the bins with the proper education."
Charleston is still hauling its recycling materials to Beckley, but officials with the Solid Waste Authority hope to get the city's items back to the Slack Street facility, Hunyadi said.
City refuse employees will pick up plastic, aluminum and paper in the clear bags or the open bins placed along the curb, Taylor said. Employees also will pick up yard waste, such as grass clippings or leaves, placed in the bags.
The city would not ask residents to stop using the bags for yard waste disposal.
"It would just be too hard for us to pick up yard waste if it wasn't put in the bags," Taylor said.
Taylor agrees it is worth considering whether only the bins should be used for recycling.