Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Cheney to resume recyclables collection


Last updated 5/1/2020 at 1:20pm

CHENEY – Public Works officials are taking steps to restart the city’s recycling program, sidelined in late March due to restrictions enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The city of Cheney announced on May 1 that it was reopening its Recycling Center from 8 – 11 a.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays to allow residents to get rid of the products that had previously been filling up the city’s yard waste bins and regular garbage collection. There is a caveat in that residents will not be able to leave their vehicles, but rather wait in line at the center’s entrance until one of several 4-6 yard Dumpster bins is open, at which point city staff will direct them to that bin.

Residents can then drive up to the bin and get rid of their recyclables, being reminded to maintain the required six-feet of social distancing between any workers and other residents. The wearing of masks and additional personal protective equipment such as gloves is encouraged.

“We will then basically put it (recyclables) into a commercial truck and haul it to the smart center,” Public Works Director Todd Ableman told the City Council on April 28.

City facilities, including the Recycling Center, have been closed due to the nature of handling recyclables and that studies of the virus indicated it had the ability to live longer than usual on surfaces, up to 12 hours on cardboard and 2-4 days on metal. The city of Spokane’s Waste to Energy Plant stopped taking residents’ recyclables, yard and hazardous waste on March 26 due to its lack of being able to safely enforce social distancing requirements, leaving the only other options for residents to get rid of those products by either taking them to the two county transfer stations — which were accepting recyclables and yard waste — or to put them into yard waste bins or regular garbage.

On April 28, the county's Regional Solid System announced hours at the transfer stations -- one in Spokane Valley and the second north of Spokane near Day Mt. Spokane Road -- were being reduced due to staffing shortages, also prompting Cheney officials to move on reopening the Recycling Center. The transfer stations are now closed on Sundays.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Contact John McCallum


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