City officials are considering a move that would switch the city’s recycling collection to an automated process.
Think big trucks and blue bins.
But some city council members still have a few concerns about the proposal — particularly the idea of a parking ban on pick-up days.
At the last public safety committee, council members asked for a cost-benefit analysis. That discussion continued on Monday night.
In an effort to streamline waste collection — and save money in the long run — city officials are eyeing a plan to begin distributing plastic recycling containers to residents this year.
City officials hope to switch the method of garbage collection to recycling through an automated process. But, if approved, the plan would be implemented in phases.
The proposal would cost the city an estimated $53 for each of the 18,000 containers. The city would also need at least two additional large trucks, at about $250,000 each.
The total capital improvement cost would be about $1.5 million.
However, city officials have said the move could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year — through saved labor costs and fewer workers’ compensation claims as well as income from the recycled materials.
In a nutshell, the city receives money for recycled materials and pays to send stuff to a landfill.
Joe Beno, the city’s public works director, said that the number of people recycling would also likely increase. A 50 percent increase in the volume of recycling, would mean an additional $100,000 in revenue, he said.
The issue seemed to gain support from the committee members.
“Obviously, this is definitely a good and altruistic idea and eco-friendly, and that makes a lot of sense on that side,” said Shawn Juris, the Ward 3 councilman and chairman of the committee. “After the seven-year payback period, we’re in good shape.”
But the issue kept returning to possible parking restrictions.
“The cost-benefit analysis will likely favor taking this step,” said Ward 1 councilman David Anderson. “I am not on this committee, but I am not for the parking ban.”
There may not be another option, should council decide to implement the automated process in the entire city.
“We feel that if we couldn’t do the parking restrictions, then we couldn’t use (recycling containers) in the whole city,” Beno said. “It would just be a big struggle with 12 to 50 miles of the streets, going around cars.”
Council is expected to make a decision at an upcoming meeting.