FROM BRENDA SCHMITT OF THE CRAWFORD COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY
At the Crawford County Solid Waste Authority’s December 18th meeting, they made the decision to discontinue the drop-off recycling program by the end of 2017.
Factors in the Decision Making Process
There were a number of factors that resulted in this decision. The members reviewed the findings of the Solid Waste Study and took into account the $50,000 reduction in funding from the Commissioners. The defining factor that forced them to this decision was a new policy by Waste Management to assess a $200 penalty for each contaminated load of recyclable materials as of January 1, 2018. Waste Management also notified the Authority that plastic bags will be considered a contaminant.
Contamination Cripples the Recycling Program
If you look into the blue bins you can easily see that folks are adding materials other than bottles, jugs, jars, cans, newspapers, magazines, and corrugated cardboard. You will definitely see a large population of plastic bags in there, as well. Every load we produce at those bins could be considered contaminated. The Authority has a minimum of three loads of material each week (it’s really more like 5). Let’s do the math. Three loads each week at $200/load is $600/week. Multiply that by 52 weeks and the expected increase in collection costs over the course of a year is $31,200. There is no possible way for the Authority to absorb that cost (even if we had full funding) and there no viable way to prevent contamination at the sites.
Authority members are broken hearted with the situation but made the decision to close the program because it would be fiscally irresponsible to do otherwise. We apologize for not being able to provide this news to you with more notice. The new information from Waste Management was just received in the days prior to the meeting.
We Are Thankful
We thank you all so very much for your support and extra efforts over the years. We especially thank West Mead Township for getting the ball rolling and making the magic happen all of those years ago.
What Happens Now? Removal, Monitoring, Education, and Outreach
Tri-County Industries will be assisting the Authority with the removal of the containers. Waste Management will service the containers on Tuesday, December 26 and then immediately pull the sites at Pine and Spartansburg—as those containers belong to Waste Management. Tri-County plans to start with Cochranton then move to Richmond, Randolph, Cambridge Springs, Conneautville, and then to West Mead. Hayfield and Cussewago will be collected by an independent contractor on the 26th of December. It is anticipated that all of the sites will be closed by Thursday, December 28th. There will be signs posted at the sites indicating that they are closed and encouraging folks to obtain recycling services from Braun’s Refuse or Tri-County Industries.
The Authority will continue to send our employees (John Holeva, Tim Roha, or Brenda Schmidt) around to monitor the sites for illegally dumped materials. We will collect and dispose of any materials we discover. This monitoring service will continue until the end of January. It has been our experience that it can take up to four weeks before the sites are no longer receiving material. In some cases, sites do not experience any illegal dumping. We will collect the signs and will discontinue the monitoring service at the end of January is the situation allows.
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to utilize the services of Braun’s Refuse and Tri-County Industries. Tri-County offers FREE curbside recycling services to their residential subscription customers. In other words: if you are a current customer who contracts with Tri-County for curbside collection of a roll-out cart for trash then you get to have FREE Recycling and they provide you with a recycling cart. Braun’s has a similar arrangement but they charge a minimal fee for recycling.
The extra bonus is that both of these programs accept a broader range of materials for recycling than we were able to offer at the Blue Bins.
Tri-County Industries: 800-457-8202
Braun’s Refuse: 814-677-4658
Outreach – Solid Waste Authority Contact Information
Crawford County Solid Waste Authority
Email Brenda Schmitt at email@example.com
See Attached Flyers:
Crawford Co Commissioners 12.20.17 Work Session