The recycling center at the Dover, Vt., transfer station features a new roll-off container with a built-in compactor for plastic bottles.
The device allows the town to pull the 45-cubic-yard container once every three months instead of almost monthly, thereby cutting Dover's recycling costs, said George Murray, executive director of the Windham Solid Waste Management District, in Brattleboro, Vt., which pulls the container and processes Dover's recyclables.
The American Plastics Council gave the container to the town and sponsored the demonstration as a way of promoting the recycling of plastics in rural areas, council spokesman Ron Perkins said.
The $20,000 device is a standard 45-cubic-yard container with five drop-down windows along the side to accept recyclables. Residents depositing recyclables put their plastic bottles in one of the windows and all other recyclables in the other four, consultant Ted Siegler said.
Bottles entering the plastics window go down the chute of the compactor to be compressed. An employee cycles the compactor as needed to keep the bottles from backing up, he said.
The compactor compresses the bottles from their uncompressed density of 30 pounds per cubic yard to 400-500 pounds per cubic yard.
Kohlman Engineering Co. of Chicago made the demonstration unit by fitting an off-the-shelf container with a compactor sized especially for the job, Perkins said.
The Dover compactor bin design copies one developed in a program in Massachusetts, Murray said.
``It's working quite well, and we'd be interested in actually buying something like this if the price weren't so high. We could save a lot of pulls in some of our locations,'' he said.
The bin could be duplicated for $12,000 by modifying an existing container and would pay for itself in three years in a community of 5,000 where 50 pulls per year could be reduced to 20, Perkins said.
Local officials planned to unveil the roll-off Oct. 2 as part of a program on plastics recycling for area schoolchildren.
The plastics council plans to take the PlastiVan from the National Plastics Museum in Leominster, Mass., to perform plastics demonstrations for the schoolchildren in conjunction with the unveiling, according to Perkins.