Oconto Falls Recycling Center hours reduced for 2023

Warren Bluhm

The Oconto Falls Recycling Center will be open only two days a week starting with the new year, the City Council agreed Nov. 15.

The council approved a plan for 2023 Recycling Center hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, eliminating Thursday hours at the center, which is located on Pioneer Drive in the city industrial park.

City Administrator Peter Wills explained that with GFL Environmental Services now conducting biweekly curbside recycling pickup in addition to the weekly garbage collection, there’s less of a need for the recycling center to be open three days a week.

GFL distributed 2,110 garbage and recycling bins to addresses around the city, and automated pickup has begun on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The recycling pickup is expect to reduce the regular tonnage at the city center, Wills said.

Finance Director Eve Wallace will be tracking any needed changes in bin distribution and had identified about 20 additions and deletions to be coordinated with the street department, Wills said.

With GFL acquiring the city’s former water management contractor, the city has moved from the old system of packing garbage in specially designated plastic bags to having 95-gallon bins assigned to each address for pickup by trucks designed for one-person use. The truck are equipped with a lift that picks up and dumps the bins mechanically, eliminating the need for a second worker on the truck.

The change was both for fiscal reasons and because it’s harder to find workers for the job, Wills has said.