Recyclers to pay per pound
Could be death of recycling, advocate says
Starting July 1, people who take recyclables to the county transfer station will have to pay 4 cents a pound.
Small loads of recyclables will be weighed to determine the charge.
Trucks bringing recyclables will be weighed full and then empty to determine charges at a rate of $82 a ton.
The charge will offset the cost of taking recyclables to a facility in South Hutchinson that charges $120 a ton vs. the $38-a-ton fee for taking items to a landfill in El Dorado.
Recycling drop-off bins outside the station have been removed. People can take recyclables to the transfer station between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Fridays. Solid waste will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Fridays.
Margaret Wilson, Marion recycling enthusiast, said the county’s decision to impose a higher charge for recycling created a moral dilemma for her.
“My heart says one thing and my head says another,” Wilson said. “It’s not fair, but there’s no way to make it fair.”
Wilson said recycling charges and the inconvenience of reduced hours to take recyclables to the transfer station might be an efficient way to put recycling in the county to death.
“The limited hours of access are not convenient for people who are employed or work out of town,” she said. “If it’s not convenient, that’s going to reduce the amount that comes in.”
Wilson considers recycling vital to the earth because it avoids using up resources.
“It shouldn’t be this hard,” she said.
Marion city council voted last week to pay an extra $82 a ton for recycling picked up by city crews from city residences. City administrator Roger Holter was instructed to change the number of trash pickups per week to offset the cost of recycling, but no specific pickup adjustments have been decided.
“The staff was challenged to figure out the program so that the additional expense for recycling could be absorbed,” Holter said.
Hillsboro city council has not decided whether to pay the recycling charge. A vote is scheduled for the first city council meeting in July.
“To quote mayor Lou Thurston, Hillsboro does recycle, we will recycle,” city administrator Larry Paine said. “We’re looking forward to having a long and prosperous relationship.”
Effective Aug. 1, the county transfer station will charge 2.5 cents a pound (or $50 a ton) for construction and demolition waste.
Although construction and demolition waste always has been taken to a landfill, it has been charged separately from household waste.
The old rate was $40 a ton. Costs for disposal of household waste are paid by taxes.
Last modified June 25, 2020