Independence residents will have the option of curbside recycling starting June 1.

Independence residents will have the option of curbside recycling starting June 1.

“It is our design to have curbside recycling be the norm,” Mayor Don Reimal said at a ceremony on Friday – Earth Day – for a new drop-off facility at Ted’s Trash Service on Truman Road near the Maywood area.

Ted’s Trash customers will be getting the word soon about recycling, which will be $3 a month. They’ll be able to place their aluminum and tin cans, plastics 1 through 7, newsprint and office paper, and cardboard and paperboard (cereal boxes, for example) in curbside containers. (Glass won’t be picked up.)

More immediately, Ted’s has replaced the old gas station and carwash – an eyesore, the mayor said – just to the west of its main offices with a drop-off recycling center. It’s open around the clock and takes the whole range of recyclables, including glass. Many of those recyclables are sent to IBS Industries, a nonprofit that creates jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. IBS bales and sells those recyclables.

Owner Teddy Ferrell said it took about a year and a half to get everything in place for the recycling service, and on Friday he got many words of praise from business and civic leaders.

“That’s what this business is all about – helping people out and cleaning up the community,” Ferrell said.

Mayor Reimal called the new-look Ted’s “a showcase for what the rest of Truman Road should look like.”

Given its location (10900 E. Truman Road, just west of Sterling Avenue), the drop-off center figures to be handy for many in Independence. The city runs drop-off centers – each open two days a week – on 35th Street just west of Noland Road and on Vista Drive off Truman Road east of Missouri 291. Also, each school in the Independence School District has drop-off bins with a more limited list of recyclables accepted.

The city wants more people to recycle and says roughly 21 percent of solid waste is being recycled – a big jump in just a year. That means less is going to landfills, meaning local landfills last longer, meaning trash isn’t hauled as far, and, in theory, meaning residents’ trash bills are better controlled. The Mid-America Regional Council has set a metrowide goal of 80 percent recycling by 2023, and MARC officials were on hand Friday to lend their support for what Ted’s is doing.

“What this company has done,” Mayor Reimal said, “is provide a tremendous service to the west side of Independence and Independence as a whole.”