Council gives go ahead for recycling machine

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council has unanimously approved a request to locate an aluminum can reverse vending machine in the Econofoods parking lot.

Mike McLoone of New Prague proposed the machine, which will allow residents to recycle their aluminum cans. A person can place the cans in a hopper and the machine will sort the cans, crush them and then pay the person.

The New Prague Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approving the device. McLoone brought the request before the commission in June, but was requested to provide more specific information on the machine. At the commission's July 23 meeting he gave the organization additional data.

The device uses a conveyor belt for the cans and any trash put into the machine will fall to the floor. McLoone said he will check the machine about every two days to empty it of liquids and trash.

He also informed the commission about noise from the device explaining, when in use, it makes a humming noise from a vacuum system/blower. Also, cans running through the system are not very loud.

City staff contacted the cities of Evansville, Edgerton and Milton, all in Wisconsin, that also have similar machines located in parking lots of businesses. Staff at all three cities said there have not been complaints of noise, odor or cleanliness from residents about the machines. New Prague city staff also contacted the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association. They received about a dozen responses with none indicating any problems with the device.

Residents Rueben and Bernice Honza stated they were against the location of the machine, not wanting to have to look at it every day and were concerned about noise.

McLoone noted he had the machine in Econofoods' parking lot to keep noise away from residents. The location provides easy access to people. The device will be near the store's sign since there is an electrical outlet nearby. The machine is 14 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet high and will take up about one parking space.

The machine will only be used during business hours of Econofoods and it will be painted in earth tones to blend in with the adjacent properties. McLoone expects to have it up and running by September.

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