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County considers plan to start recycling again

City administrator reaches out to manager of McPherson site after outcry from citizens

Staff writer

The county may soon be back in the business of recycling.

County commissioners on Friday heard a suggestion from Dale Dalke, Hillsboro street superintendent, that recyclable materials could be taken to McPherson County Solid Waste Utility.

The utility would charge the county to accept the materials, but taking them there could be a solution to not being able to take recyclables to Fort Riley.

Commissioner Kent Becker said he’d gotten “a number of disgruntled calls from citizens and city authorities” since the county decided to take recyclable materials to the landfill at El Dorado.

Fort Riley stopped taking Marion County recyclables when its recycling center staff was cut from seven to four employees.

Dalke told commissioners that Hillsboro city administrator Larry Paine spoke to the McPherson facility and was told it would accept Marion County items, but there would be a charge.

Paine said he asked John Hawk, general manager of the McPherson recycling facility if he could help

provide a solution to the county’s problem of having nowhere to take its recyclables.

“I told him what we were doing and asked if he could help,” Paine said. “He said, ‘Yes.’ ”

Becker called Fort Riley and was told that facility is trying to adjust its processes so it could operate with four staff members.

Becker did say the Fort Riley facility told him Marion County’s recyclables are so dusty the facility has to open windows when a load is brought in.

Becker said the county needs to decide if it wants to “bite the bullet” and pay for recycling.

“I just don’t want to wreck the recycling program we’ve got going,” Becker said.

Dalke suggested that perhaps the county should only accept cardboard and aluminum.

Former Florence city council member Trayce Warner told commissioners she wondered if the city of Peabody would be willing to work with the county and have Waste Connections pick up recyclables.

“This is my fear is that even if it’s temporary, people will get out of the habit,” Warner said.

Last modified Feb. 6, 2020

 

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