County officially adopts recycling pilot plan

Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Board has been focused on promoting recycling around the county. As of July 18, commissioners officially signed off on adopting a one year pilot program to promote recycling in county facilities. The official kick off is expected to take effect no later than September 2017.

“We asked the commissioners to write a letter encouraging county employees to recycle and they all supported us,” said board member Sue Heald.

The solid waste and recycling board approached the commissioners earlier this spring about promoting recycling by implementing a one year pilot program, which would include aluminum, plastic, cardboard and unshredded paper recyclables. The county receives money back on most recyclables, including all those proposed in the one year pilot program. Last year, the county hauled 84 tons of recyclables resulting in over $4,000 – more than half came from recycling cardboard.

“The way I understand it, is county buildings that have a janitorial staff, those janitors will pick up the recycling and take to the nearest site,” said Heald. “And then we proposed that those without a janitorial staff, have an employee that would be willing to take the recycling during their work hours and use a county vehicle or be reimbursed if they took their own vehicle.”

The commissioners voted on July 18 to adopt the plan and will be sending out letters to all county department heads to encourage recycling within their departments.

“It’s my opinion that it’s a no brainer to encourage recycling,” said Commission Chair Jim Hart. “But to demand county employees to recycle is counterproductive.”

The point is to put more emphasis on recycling, turning it into a consistent act, while having the county government set the example for the community by providing a place to recycle. The best way to do so, is by providing recycling bins in county facilities, giving folks the option to rinse out their bottles and throw them in a bin.

“We’re simply encouraging it by offering recycling bins at the facilities,” said Hart, adding the commissioners are not demanding county employees recycle, but are willing to reimburse those who transport the recycling to a solid waste site for their time, should this recycling push grow.

After a year, commissioners will decide whether or not they want to continue the program into the future, making and adjustments as needed. Hart said there are still some logistics that needed to be honed but it should be a relatively simple process.

“It’s the smart thing to do without spending a lot of money – we’ve got enough paper and cardboard and that kind of stuff all needs to be deposited,” he said.

“We’re just going to try it and see if there are any problems with it,” added Heald. “My hope is to increase (recycling) awareness and have the county be an example for the public.”

 

What’s the average?

Since the numbers for the county’s recycling have not quite come in for the months of June and July, Kacey Smart with the Madison County Sanitarian’s Office said it is hard to tell how many loads are hauled away per week.

“It’s really hard to average weekly because there are so many variables,” Smart said. “In June, there were 50 loads to Logan and 33 loads to Dillon.”

Smart added that some of those loads included construction boxes, which the county gets paid for.

“So the first week in June, there was 17 loads, the second week there was 10,” said Smart. “It’s just hard to tell how many loads there are going to be per week.”

 

If you’re interested in learning more about recycling or what you can do help promote recycling, contact the Madison County Sanitarians Office at 843-4275.

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