OPINION

Curbside recycling facts to consider

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

At our July 7 village board meeting, curbside recycling and a single trash provider, were discussed with the board and residents in attendance.

A few facts are important for everyone to consider since the board will soon be asked to make a decision on if we will offer these new services. I personally have received calls both in favor and against any plan to implement the above.

There are two different issues; however, they are so closely related that we are asking everyone to consider them together.

I have been asked for a very long time to look into a community recycling program. I visited and talked with the Cambridge mayor before they approved their recently-implemented program.

What they did appeared to me to be a very simple, fair, and cost-effective plan that would benefit the majority of the community.

Yes, they have a few people that feel this new program is of no benefit or value; however, the majority are in favor.

I’m sure that when Orion implemented water and sewer services to our village some were against that at the time. People most likely said, “I have my own well and septic system – don’t force this on me.”

Our community made the right choice and what was best for village greatly outweighed those few objections. We now face a similar decision and will make a choice based on what best serves the majority of our village.

A few facts to consider:

1) Several people have asked for curbside recycling—but without cost. Please understand that we currently have recycling (bins at the village garage) and many are unaware that this costs you, the Orion taxpayers over $2,700 per year, and those costs are likely to rise based on current fuel costs.

2) The current system shows Orion does want to recycle as the bins are always full. Many persons drive to the site and find the bins full and have to take their stuff home and add it to their trash. Others choose to simply dump their bags and boxes on the ground, causing an unsightly situation.

We even have people outside Orion and Western Township filling these bins—is this fair to the taxpayers who pay this cost? We have no control of what or who uses the current system—yet Orion taxpayers pay the bulk of this cost.

3) Currently we have three trash carriers picking up in Orion, I believe on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This means we have garbage cans sitting out three days each and every week. Those large trucks impact our streets three days each week. 

Would it not be to our benefit if we had a single service do this one day a week? Current costs for residential pickup are around $16 per month. Having contacted a couple of these companies, they have indicated a cost of $12 or less per house if they had the entire village contracted.

4) Curbside recycling estimates are 65 cents per week ($2.60 per month) if we do a community program. If we proceed with a voluntary program, the costs are $7.50 per month.

The exact details of how this would be administered have yet to be finalized – likely it would be a separate line-item charge on the monthly water bill.

5) Eagle Enterprises would likely be the recycling company. They would provide each homeowner a 50- to 75- or 100-gallon wheeled container at no cost.

They accept most everything including glass and nothing has to be separated. They would schedule their pick up days every other week and pick up on the same day as a single trash hauler.

Anyone not wanting to participate simply would not be provided a cart; however, every household would be charged the $2.60 per month.

Please consider this:

Current trash pick up - $16 per month

Proposed community trash pick up by a single hauler and  curbside recycling costs estimated at:  $12/trash + $2.60/curbside recycling = $14.60 per month.

If we can offer a service that would save most of us money and at the same time offer new curbside recycling—is this not a benefit to most? Weigh the advantage of this proposal vs. any objections you might have and contact me, any board member, or call village hall.

Your opinions and concerns will be considered as we consider providing this service to Orion.  Consider the positive impact this will have on our environment and our children and grandchildren.

Sometime, likely sooner than later, either the federal or state government will make recycling mandatory.  Let’s do the right thing and be proactive.

Call any board member, the village hall, or me and let us know your thoughts. The village board is an elected group and their personal opinions may differ from yours—let us know what you want. The board’s vote on this issue will be made to serve the majority.

Jim Cooper, Mayor, Village of Orion