It took exactly one week for the Town of Payson's new newspaper recycling program to prove itself a rousing success.
The jumbo-sized pair of recycling bins put into operation July 12 were packed to the limits with discarded newsprint, and hauled to the Valley for processing, after just seven days.
The question is, will the program keep up that level of achievement?
Public Works Director Buzz Walker doesn't think so.
"We're thinking there was probably a lot of pent-up demand," Walker said. "I know a lot of people who had stuff in their garages and cars they'd been waiting to recycle, so I'm not sure that the first week was indicative of (what will be the typical pickup) schedule."
Pickups of the recycling bins are not made until the bins are full, at which time their contents are hauled off by the Phoenix-based Weyerhaeuser Corporation to its own paper company in the northwest Valley.
"That's why we use them," Walker said. "We didn't have to find anybody to buy the commodity. They wanted it, and they have the transport facilities. So it was a great match for us."
To pay for the program's set-up, which cost about $20,000, the town made use of a matching grant offer from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
The cost of operating the program, Walker said, is "a function of what the market is for the paper products versus the $400-a-trip transportation cost. We're predicting that we'll have somewhere between $5,000 to $6,000 per year in transportation costs that won't be covered" by the market value of the paper.
"We'll be very fortunate if we can keep the costs that low, because hauling is what kills you," Walker said.
The town's drop-off newspaper receptacles are located near the Payson Parks and Recreation office on the south end of Green Valley Park, and on the northeast corner of the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot.
For more information, call the Town of Payson at 474-5242.
Recycling collection sites
Aluminum cans Payson Town Hall, Payson Golf Course, Payson Humane Society
Used motor oil, automobile batteries, residential motor oil in 5-gallon quantities AutoZone, Checker Auto
Plastic grocery bags Bashas'
Used motor oil, scrap metal, appliances, passenger tires, and automobile batteries Buckhead Mesa Landfill
Copper, brass, scrap aluminum, radiators, aluminum cans Rye Recycling