Curbside's future in doubt, July 9 deadline looms
By By Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
More Hartselle residents will have to speak up in favor of curbside recycling for the program to be saved, according to some members of the Hartselle City Council.
The council is seeking comments from citizens on whether they want to continue curbside recycling, even if doing so would mean higher utility bills.
Mayor Clif Knight said he has received 102 calls, e-mails and letters in favor of continuing curbside recycling and 7 against the program.
"The vast majority would like to see curbside recycling," Knight said.
Still, several members said that number was too small a percentage of city residents to save the program.
Those interested in commenting on the future of curbside recycling may call city hall at 773-2535.The council will vote on curbside recycling July 9.
The future of curbside recycling in Hartselle was put in jeopardy earlier this year when the city opted to change its garbage service from BFI to Morgan County Environmental Service.
The BFI contract for curbside recycling is set to expire in July, but company officials have expressed an interest in extending the service on a month-by-month or yearly basis.
The council is considering two main options:
The net increase to customers would be about $1 a month. BFI officials said they would commit to this price for three years.
Currently, Environmental Services operates 13 recycling collection trailers throughout the county. Director Brenda Blankenship said the bins are collected when they reach 85 percent capacity and do not create an eyesore in the community.
Still, she said, participation rates drop when people have to take their recycling to a trailer as opposed to in front of their home.
"Hartselle's curbside recycling participation is about 50-70 percent each month," she said. "When you go to the trailers, you will see participation of about 10 -15 percent. The people who will use the trailers are the ones who have made the commitment to recycle in their hearts and will stick to it."
The costs associated with curbside recycling are too prohibitive, however, Councilmen Allen Stoner said.
"Curbside recycling is a nice thing," Stoner said. "But if you're going to recycle, you should hoof it to the trailers and do it."