When it comes to recycling issues, problems never get put to rest for long.
During a Feb. 5 Osceola City Council meeting, Ty Wheeler, city administrator/clerk, said the city was approached by Clarke County Landfill Commission for a regular contribution toward the cost of the recycling trailer located near HyVee.
Wheeler said the contribution would go to the landfill commission.
“I’d also ask if we want to go forward and do this. We need to adjust the garbage rate, as well, to fund it because our garbage rates are, those do not have anything like this built into it,” he said.
Wheeler said there’s been discussion with the landfill commission of moving the trailer to a different location because of heavy utilization. The purpose of moving the trailer would be to serve the entire county’s recycling needs better overall.
Lack of revenue
“The Clarke County Landfill Commission has always paid for that trailer, and when we were part of the landfill commission we paid a per capita rate that helped fund that cost,” he said. “Now that we’re not, they obviously don’t have as much revenue coming in, but those costs have stayed the same, at least for the trailer.”
There are three recycling trailers in the county — Osceola, Murray and Woodburn.
“Now, we’ve always also stated that once we upgrade our curbside recycling program to the single-stream, this is absolutely, you know, there’s no way we’re going to be contributing toward this … because obviously, we want our citizens, our residents, to be using the curbside program, not the trailer down there,” Wheeler said. “And, we’ve got a curbside program now, it’s just with the 18-gallon, and I think there are people out there that would rather, maybe generate more than what an 18-gallon would hold in two weeks and they just take their recyclables down there.”
For the contribution request, Wheeler said it could be approximately $1,000 per month. He suggested the recycling fee needs to be increased by a dollar if the city wants to start making contributions for a certain period of time.
The city’s current contract with Waste Management for solid-waste collection ends in September.
“I know there’s a lot of people that use it, go to HyVee quite often, and there’s always somebody there,” said Councilman Glenn Schaff.
“Yeah, the paper is full,” said Mayor Fred Diehl.
If the city chooses to go forward with the contribution, Wheeler said the city shouldn’t have anything to do with the landfill commission’s contract with Waste Management or liability with the trailer.
Wheeler added, the city can stop paying the contributions at any period of time, especially if the city goes to a new garbage-collection contract in the fall.
“I mean, that little box they give you to set out on the curb, it doesn’t hold a teaspoon full of stuff and it’s always blowing down the street or something.” Schaff said.
Wheeler said there’s always the option of using multiple curbside boxes.
A decision was made to discuss the issue at a work session that has yet to be scheduled.
In other news, Wheeler got approval from the council to send a letter to Waste Management to notify them of the city’s intention to rebid the solid-waste collection contract for the fall.
Recently, there has been interest from other businesses wanting to have the contract for Osceola’s waste collection.