Baldwin City to scale back number of recycling bins
With news the city is looking at a more than six-fold increase in the cost of providing roll-off recycling bins, the Baldwin City Council agreed Monday to curtail the number of bins available while encouraging residents to sign on to the city’s year-old curbside recycling service.
Councilman Jason Mock, a member of the council’s utility subcommittee, told the council that 12th and Haskell Recycling of Lawrence had a contract with the city to provide the roll-off bins south of the Midland Railway yard at the cost of $500 a month or $6,000 a year and maintained that price for several years when the contract expired. Bob Killough of 12th and Haskell Recycling has told the city it can no longer provide the bins at that price and has suggested a price of $200 a load, which would equal $37,000 a year at the city’s current usage rate.
The city’s $12.50 monthly residential trash rate does not cover the cost of the recycling bins at 12th and Haskell Recycling’s current price, and the city could not afford the additional cost of maintaining the roll-off service as it currently offered, Mock said.
It was also noted the roll-off service competed against the optional $4.50 a month curbside recycling service made available through Ottawa Sanitation a year ago. That service offers a weekly pickup of plastic, metal, paper and cardboard. Only 199 of the city’s 1,500 residential trash customers have signed up for the service.
The council approved city staff’s recommendation that the roll-off service be limited to scrap metal, which produces revenue for the city, and glass, a recycling option not available in the curbside service. Brad Smith, city financial officer, said the city was in discussions with Ripple Glass of Kansas City, Mo., about placing a glass roll-off bin in Baldwin City at little or no cost to the city.
Killough has agreed to maintain the roll-off bins as the city alerts residents of the changes and encourages them to sign up for the curbside service, Mock said. The city will install lighting and a video camera to discourage illegal dumping at the roll-off site once the plastic, cardboard and paper bins are removed.
Meanwhile, Roger Boyd said Baker University’s recycling program was also changing. Bins would remain at the site north of the university between Seventh and Eighth streets, and would be limited to paper products but not cardboard, he said.
Boyd, who was instrumental in starting recycling efforts in the city, gave a thumb’s up to the proposed changes. There would be some grousing but residents would soon find it was cheaper to pay the curbside-recycling fee than take loads of glass to Lawrence of recycling, he said.