The county’s initiative to bring about curbside recycling is moving forward.
The citizens who receive trash pick up services in the county and its four cities can expect to receive recycling in the near future, if all goes well with the process.
Now that the cities of Auburn, Adairville, Lewisburg and Russellville have all agreed to climb on board with the county to bid out a unified future solid waste agreement, which will include curbside co-mingling recycling, a committee is being formed with all four mayors, the judge executive, a magistrate and the county’s solid waste coordinator to discuss what they want. First, however, all parties must enter into an inter local agreement. County Attorney Joe Ross is sending out a draft of such an agreement to the attorneys of all four cities and will await their response.
The committee will be putting together an agreement that will suit everyone involved and then put it out for bid. Although the county has been in talks with its current provider Scott Waste Services about the idea of recycling, the agreement will be up for anyone to bid on.
“I don’t know if Scott will get the bid or not, we will have to advertise, which means other companies, I’m sure, will come out to bid,” said Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick.
If Scott wins the bid, they have agreed to providing recycling and keep the cost of waste services the same or lower than they are now in exchange for a longer contract. The county and the city of Russellville already have Scott as their solid waste provider, with the county’s contract ending in 2015 and the city’s ending a year earlier in 2014. The cities of Auburn, Adairville and Lewisburg have bid along with the county in the past, so it won’t be much of a leap for them. Russellville has gone out on their own over the years, but is now interested in unifying.
Scott has been working with the county on the curbside recycling program already. The company implemented a pilot program that began last year where just under 400 residences received a recycling bin to see how well people liked it. According to Judge Executive Chick, Magistrate Thomas Bouldin and Tommy Mosley from Scott Waste, it was a huge success.
The success of the pilot program was what made Magistrate Bouldin convinced it would work all over the county and was something that should be offered to others as well.
The recycling portion of the agreement is expected to call for a separate 96 gallon container, called a tote, which is just like the trash containers Scott customers already use - except it has a different color lid. The containers hold recyclable materials like cardboard, plastics, paper products and aluminum. They would most likely be picked up once a month by the provider in lieu of regular trash pickup.
Some concerns have been expressed about what would happen if a customer had an excess of trash by not getting it picked up that week the recycling is picked up. Mosley explained that by organizing your waste and using the recycling bin you will have room left in your waste bin and should not have an overflow of garbage.
Bouldin has said that the cities and county will be able to make a little money off of recycling as well, not much, but some. The county has been getting some revenue back from the pilot program from the sale of the recyclables being picked up by Scott and sold in Tennessee. When the unified agreement is signed and commodities sold, each of the cites and county will get their equal share of profits generated from the recyclables.
Right now, the county does not have mandatory trash pick up service, which means they do not require everyone to take the service as is done in the cities. According to Chick, that will not be part of the future agreement for the county residents.
“I don’t think my court would go for that at this time.,” said Chick, speaking on mandatory trash pickup in the county. The customers who choose to take the service will be the ones to benefit from the recycling portion of the program.
Chick did note that this agreement will not stop those who recycle for themselves already and turn in the commodities for profit. “They will be able top continue what they are doing if they so choose,” said Chick.
The county’s recycling center will also not be changed by the agreement. Chick said the county still will be picking up cardboard and other recyclable materials from businesses, industry and the school systems. “We do a good business down there,” said Chick.
What would change is the recycling trailers that are placed throughout the county and cities. “I don’t think those would be offered,” said Chick.
The judge is pleased that all the cities are on board with the unified plan.
“I was amazed at the success of the pilot program and all the telephone calls I received on how people wanted it as well. Anything that will benefit Logan County I am for. It’s not as much for the financially aspect of it, but because we are doing the right thing,” added Chick, who admits he recycles some, but is looking forward to being able to do more.