For the first time, local readers of the print version of the PRT will soon be able to recycle newspapers curbside where they live and be relatively certain it won’t end up in the landfill. This responsible act, an example of the third part of the sustainable lifestyle mantra – reduce, reuse, recycle – will be possible due to the curbside pick-up service now being launched in the Patagonia area by Recyclops.

Dennis Wise, Recyclops Vice President for Business Development and Sales, recently reported that the company has enrolled sufficient numbers of subscribers to begin providing curbside recycling service. However, about one-third of the subscribers still need to provide their billing information.

Wise also revealed that the company has purchased a Sierra Vista-based recycling company from its owner, Eric Holeman, and has hired Holeman to help launch the service in Patagonia.

Bob Brandt, Chair of the Patagonia Recycling Task Force, said he’s pleased that Recyclops is willing to bring the service to this area. According to Brandt, Recyclops founder and CEO Ryan Smith is committed to serving this market despite the small size and dispersed population in the Patagonia, Sonoita, Elgin area. That commitment, Brandt said, has come about because of the enthusiasm and support exhibited by members of the task force including Patagonia Town Manager Ron Robinson, who has been a regular participant in the task force’s meetings and monthly recycling events. 

Robinson met with Holeman in early November to discuss the possibility that the company might use the town’s chipper site to place large containers where it would aggregate its collected recyclables prior to transporting them to a materials recovery facility in Tucson. However, according to Holeman, the company found a site better suited to its operations on vacant land owned by Native Seed Search. “We really appreciate Mr. Robinson’s efforts to find a suitable site in the town, but the site we settled on offers easier access for our heavy containers,” Holeman explained.

With a site for aggregating their collected materials identified, Holeman said the company is on target to begin curbside service in early December if enough of the households who have signed up submit their billing information. 

When interested parties enroll, they will be asked to select whether to pay monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually and the method of payment. Subscribers can cancel or suspend service at any time, a feature sure to be popular with many seasonal residents.

Recyclops will serve people living in remote areas of eastern Santa Cruz County during a startup period, after which they will require a minimum of 30 customers on a single route to make the pickup financially feasible.

Brandt noted that the curbside pick-up was not originally envisioned by the task force when it first began meeting nearly two years ago, but since learning from J.B. Shaw, recycling specialist at the AZ Department of Environmental Quality, of Recyclops’ operations elsewhere in Arizona, the task force invited Smith to bring the company’s unique brand of curbside recycling to Patagonia while continuing to work on bringing back a drop-off facility that will serve households that don’t subscribe.

“We know that not everyone will be able to subscribe to this service, but those who do will be able to easily and confidently recycle and the town will save on tipping fees,” Brandt said.