Recycling Will Cost Citizens And City


By Jon A. Brake

The Mayor appointed another committee and now we have another report asking government to tax and spend. And this one will be costly.

The Mayorís Recycling Task Force held a meeting Monday night to get public input on a city-wide curbside recycling program. Like all committees appointed by the mayor, this one was make up of people that have been proposing a recycling program for years. Many were involved in the Riley County 1990-91 Pilot Curbside Program which was cut off by the County Commissioners because of cost.

This committee came to these conclusions:

1. The City of Manhattan should move to implement a residential curbside recycling program for the city.

2. The initial phase of the program should be limited to single family residences or other residential units of the type currently served by individual curbside trash pickup.

Later phases of the program can address multi-family and commercial recycling service.

3. Participation in the program should be voluntary but payment for the service must be mandatory for all of the identified residential units.

4. Initial materials to be recycled include:

a. newsprint

b. #1& #2 clear plastic beverage containers

c. aluminum beverage cans

d. steel cans

e. brown, green, and clear glass bottles

Sounds great but what will it cost? According to the committee it will cost citizens from $1 to $5 a month for the service. Donít you believe it.

This service might start at $5 per month but that would not pay for the program. The City would be required to subsidize the program. The cost to citizens would go up year by year.

The City Commission would be asked to implement another Socialist program. It should never happen. If curbside recycling were profitable private haulers would be in the business. It is not profitable; and it is very expensive.

One problem Riley County had with the 1990-91 program was the uncertainty of the market. Sometimes the recycled materials could be sold and at other times they could not. When materials could not be sold another hit was made on the General Fund.

According to the report 50,000 tons of waste is discarded through the Riley County Transfer Station annually. They feel 34% is recyclable. Riley County is paying off a $2 million transfer station building from tipping fees. Riley County would also be put in a bind if they were to lose 34% of the transfer stations income.

If the citizens do nothing it might pass the City Commission. If you can call or talk to Ed Klimek, Mark Taussig, and Brad Everett please do it. They are our only hope. Bruce Snead and Roger Reitz are a waist of time. They are both for any "feel good" program that involves more taxes and more government.