County ponders leaving recycling to cities

The prospects of Marion County continuing to pay for recycling bins in the county’s smaller towns sounded dim during a discussion Monday.

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt told county commissioners that Waste Connections has increased the price per recycling bin 10 percent to $138 per month. With the county’s cost to send trash to Butler County Landfill averaging about $40 per ton, it would take more than three tons per month recycled for a single bin to pay for itself.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said with the cost difference between recycling and sending trash to the landfill, he thinks most voters would choose the landfill. But commissioners said the program does have its fans.

“I think it’s proven that people like it,” commissioner Randy Dallke said.

Fleming said he would like it if the small towns would take over the cost of providing the bins. Hillsboro and Peabody each have their own city recycling programs. Hillsboro provides a drop-off point where people can take sorted recyclables. Peabody provides curbside pickup of unsorted recyclables. Dallke, who lives in Peabody, said his recycling bin always fills up, but his trash can is very light with the curbside recycling.

Schmidt said Goessel, where he is a City Council member, has looked at adding curbside recycling, but was shocked at the high cost per household.

“It’s too bad it’s so costly the way it is now,” Schmidt said. “If we could all go to that in the county, we would greatly reduce our transfers to the landfill.”

Commissioner Dan Holub, who has been a proponent of the recycling program, was absent from the meeting to attend the birth of his first grandchild. The commission will take up recycling discussion again at 1 p.m. Jan. 22.

In other business:

  • A plat for “Sleepy Hollow” at Marion County Lake was approved. Garry and Sharlyn Dunnegan filed the two-lot plat at 71 Lakeshore Drive after discovering a problem with a driveway crossing property lines. The plat didn’t create any new lots.
  • The county approved a resolution to provide up to $10,000 to help farmers buy herbicides to fight noxious weeds. Schmidt estimated a little less than $4,000 was used in the program in 2012.
  • The cost for state-mandated testing of the former county landfill fell almost 50 percent to $3,220, because testing frequency was reduced from twice annually to once annually.
  • The county’s premium for property and liability insurance through Employers Mutual Casualty Company increased about 14 percent to $155,235. The new jail was the biggest reason for the increase, as it added property value. Additional staffing for the jail was another reason for the increase.
  • Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro will provide 8,000 gallons of fuel to Road and Bridge Department for $25,030. Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa bid $25,439.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday. Elected county officials will be sworn in before the meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom.

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