A committee has been created at the request of First District Magistrate Dickie Carter to look into the county’s curbside recycling program, as well as the county’s recycling center located on Morgantown Road.
The curbside program is managed by Scott Waste Services. Costs associated with the program have grown, which has caused concern among Carter and fellow magistrate Jo Orange. The committee will consist of Orange, magistrate Thomas Bouldin and Judge Executive Logan Chick. Bouldin is an advocate for the recycling program and has been very supportive of it.
“The committee was created to look into the county’s recycling practices,” said Judge Chick. “We need to see what is feasible and what is most economical. This in no way means the recycling program will stop. Recycling has become a part of life. I do it myself. I feel like it’s here to stay. We are just in a down period. I think the county may have to make some adjustments and maybe visit some other recycling stations, but we need to continue to move forward with recycling. We just have to make sure we get the best bang for the buck.”
Scott Waste Services contracts with the county and its four cities to handle waste and recycling in a unified agreement. Scott collects recyclable materials one day out of the week for its customers in lieu of trash pickup. There has been several complaints made since the beginning of the program about customers having an overage in trash due to the missed week. However, there has been voices wanting the program to pick up twice a week instead of one. Scott representatives say if you recycle properly, you should have no overage on trash.
“Recycling is costing the county too much,” said magistrate Carter. “In October it cost us $1,700 and in September it cost $2,300 to haul off our recycling. It’s been costing a few thousand each month for a while now, and that is a whole lot of money to do something a lot of people don’t want to do.”
According to Carter, a lot of recyclable material goes into the landfill anyway.
“Nobody is buying it,” said Carter. “Glass is not worth anything and now plastic is not worth much.” Carter said he is against recycling, he just wants to be more smart about it. I also don’t want recycling to be forced. Right now the customer has to recycle. I think we need to go back to picking up garbage every week. Those who want to recycle should have to pay for it, and those who do not should not be made to.”
Over 70 tons of recyclable materials are picked up by Scott Waste monthly in Logan County. Separate bins have been distributed to customers to hold the co-mingled recycling.
The recycling program first began in 2013 as a pilot program in magistrate Bouldin’s district. According to Bouldin it was very successful. This spurned the program to be offered countywide in 2015. In the beginning the county and four cities actually made money from selling the recyclables to a receiving station in Nashville. However, over the past year commodities have dropped in price and the county has been paying to have them accepted at a station in Louisville.
The program, according to magistrate Bouldin, was not decided upon for making money, but instead for doing the right thing.
“The purpose for the recycling program has always been to keep material out of the waste stream. That is the first priority and not about making money,” said Bouldin. “There has literally been thousands of tons of material that has been kept from being placed in a landfill since we began the program. That to me is a huge success.”
Magistrate Orange says she is an advocate for recycling, but does believe the county needs to look at its program and make sure no changes need to be implemented.
“I don’t mind paying a little to take our recycling,” said Orange. “The main thing for me is we need to understand more about the program and what is being accepted and what is not. My question is where is the plastic going? If it’s continuing to go to a landfill because it’s worthless at this time, then we need to reevaluate our program,” Orange said.
To contact Chris Cooper, email email@example.com or call 270-726-8394.