Vote on new curbside recycling option coming

Vote on new curbside recycling option coming
December 07
05:00 2017

Forsyth County commissioners plan to vote on a deal to provide optional curbside recycling to many unincorporated households and changes for a popular drop-off recycling center.

Commissioners plan to vote on both recycling items in their next formal meeting on Dec. 14. The county’s subscription curbside recycling service for unincorporated areas ended this year when a second service provider didn’t renew its contract after losing money providing the service due to lack of participation and a downturn in the commodities market. Some developments are receiving recycling service they negotiated with providers, but the majority of unincorporated households remain without the service.

However, those households still have the opportunity for curbside garbage pickup, which 54 percent of them subscribe to. Currently, three companies whose contracts expire at the end of 2018 provide that service. Two of them, ABC Garbage Service and Rural Garbage Service, have agreed to provide optional recycling pickup for $7 a month if their contract is extended for three years. The service will be offered to their current 14,245 garbage subscribers along with other households that want it. Several commissioners expressed enthusiasm at voting on the deal during last week’s county briefing.

“I feel like they’re going to do as a good a job as possible,” said County Commissioner Co-chair Don Martin.

The third curbside garbage provider is Waste Management, with 11,597 subscribers, which said it couldn’t provide the curbside recycling pickup. Waste Management was one of the companies that previously tried to provide curbside recycling to all unincorporated areas. Its contract will not be receiving an extension in the current deal the commissioners plan to vote on.

Those without curbside recycling have to rely on the county’s three recycling drop off centers, such as the Hanes Mill Road Landfill. However, some people are deciding to dump their garbage in the recycling bins in an effort to avoid solid waste fees at that landfill.  Minor Barnette, director of the office of environmental assistance and protection, said garbage contamination has become a problem at the Hanes Mill location.

“It’s escalated to the point that the average contamination rate in those boxes is approaching 30 to 40 percent most weeks,” said Barnette.

Commissioners will be voting on using grant money to cover most of the cost of a new compactor and general fund money to pay for a new attendant at the site. The attendant will ensure that only recyclables are put in the recycling bins. Barnett said the attendants at the other two drop centers prevent garbage contamination.

The attendant will also run the new 40,000 cubic yard compactor that will replace at least one of the co-mingled recycling bins that is currently there. Residents will put their recyclables in the compactor, which will be compacted so it can hold several times more than a regular bin. This should help save money, since the bin will need to be hauled less, and help prevent the bins from getting filled beyond the point that recyclables can be put in them as often.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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