By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
December 18, 2015 05:13:18 AM
AUGUSTA (Scrap Monster): The Augusta City Council has decided to end curbside recycling service by May next year. The vote on the proposal, which followed marathon debates, had resulted in a 4-4 tie. The order was finally approved through Mayor David Rollins’ veto vote.
According to the proposal, the City’s curbside collection of recyclables from residents will end as on May 1st. However, residents could still recycle by taking the items to any of the three existing single-stream recyclables drop-off locations at the Augusta City Center parking lot, the John Charest Public Works Facility and the Hatch Hill landfill. Meantime, the council has voted to add a fourth recyclables drop-off location at Buker Community Center, following complaints that the three existing locations are often found full. Also, rubbish collection will be expanded from the current 40 weeks to 52 weeks per year.
Official City statistics suggest that curbside collection of recyclables has witnessed significant downfall ever since the city began offering single-stream drop-off locations in March this year. The drop in volume of materials through curbside collection has led to huge jump in per-ton cost for the city. Estimates indicate that only nearly 12%-13% residents are currently using curbside collection services. Curbside recycling program collected 120 tons at a cost of $879 per ton during last year, as compared with single-stream recycling drop-off collection which totaled 160 tons at a lesser cost of $113 per ton.
Meantime, Public Works Director Lesley Jones clarified that the recycling program will run until May 1stor as long as the City’s recycling collection truck lasts, whichever is earlier. He further hoped that the truck will last until May. Councilmen decided not to make any spending on fixing the truck’s rusted body as it would require around $50,000. Meantime, some Councilmen have extended support to replace the current recycling program with a single-stream recyclables collection program, which is expected to add nearly $100,000 per year in costs than the current program.