County puts temporary stop to recycling efforts
The county is ceasing recycling for now because the places to take recyclable materials charge too much money or refuse the materials.
County commissioners voted Monday that as of Feb. 10, recycling bins will be removed and recyclables will be taken to the landfill at El Dorado instead of a recycling center at Fort Riley.
“As of now we can’t take it to Fort Riley, so it goes to the landfill because we have nowhere else to take it,” said transfer station employee Josh Housman, who oversees the operation of the transfer station.
The county was taking a load of recyclables every week or two to Fort Riley, which has a federally operated recycling center. Housman said Fort Riley is too short-staffed right now to accept outside loads.
Before the county started taking recyclables to Fort Riley, the materials were driven to a site owned by Waste Connections in South Hutchinson.
At one time, the county made money selling recyclables to Waste Connections, but when the market for paper and plastic went bad, Waste Connections began charging the county $97 a ton to accept recyclables.
That’s when the county began driving recyclable material to Fort Riley, which accepted the materials but did not pay.
The landfill charges $37 a ton in tipping fees.
Marion residents and recycling advocates Eileen Sieger and Margaret Wilson told commissioners they’d like to see recycling continue, and asked Housman continue to pursue other options.
“We all want recycling, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” commissioner Kent Becker said.
Sieger said she thinks plastic bags will be banned someday soon and people will have to use items that can be reused.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2020