Quincy is making recycling mandatory

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QUINCY - Quincy plans to require residents to have a recycling bin.

The city council approved the move as part of its negotiations with Consolidated Disposal Services (CDSI). Details of the plan are still being worked on, but councilmembers supported a plan for recycling in the city.

"I know we've talked about this in budget workshops. We've talked about it at a couple of council meetings. We need to get to a point where we make a decision on what we're going to do," Mayor Jim Hemberry said.

The mayor said the council is choosing to pursue recycling to stop recyclable materials from going to the landfill.

"The landfills are filling up," he said. "Everything we can do to improve that is a good thing."

Councilmembers Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy McCreary and Scott Lybbert supported a model similar to Moses Lake where residents would get one rate for recycling and garbage.

"I got to thinking about this over the last couple of weeks. We have a compost facility that we lose money on, but we still chose to do the right thing and provide a place for that," Lybbert said. "That's what we're doing with this. We're choosing to direct this recyclable product somewhere else, instead of the pit."

McCreary supported recycling, saying he doesn't do it, but he probably should.

If a person presently has a 100-gallon garbage can, and drops to a 60-gallon can along with the recycling can, their rates won't change, Hemberry said. The mandatory recycling will add $4 per container.

"It's going to be a little difficult to begin with to set up the rates," he said. "It's only if you don't really do it that it should affect you adversely, so I honestly think that in the rates it's going to work out," he said.

Mark Wash, CDSI's vice president, said the company would work with the city to enforce the proper items go into the recycling containers.

"I'm assuming we will set up some sort of patrol and enforcement. Whether it be the drivers who flip lids, whether there is a periodic city person that goes around and checks, if we know that there is a certain area that we're getting a high level of contamination we might concentrate on that area," he said.

If the recycling can has items which don't belong in them, Wash said the drivers won't pick them up and add it to the garbage pickup. The person would be charged for an extra pickup.

"Then the city sends a letter informing the citizen to please keep contamination out. It might even be two letters. It might even be three, but then eventually the city will have some penalty to deal with it," he said.

Wash said it would take about 60 to 90 days to get the cans.

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