Like it or not, recycling is in county's future

Marion County Commission may be moving closer to a countywide recycling program.

During the Dec. 31 commission meeting, county transfer station manager Rollin Schmidt told the commission that Marion County was one of a few counties in the state without a recycling program.

"We can do a program on our terms or we can wait until the state mandates it and we'll have to do what the state says," Schmidt said.

Schmidt reported that the Harvey County landfill would take Marion County recyclables for $5 per ton. The material would have to be separated with plastic, tin, and glass in one bin, and paper, magazines, and other shredables in another.

The county could purchase a trailer that could provide two bins for collection and dumping. A pickup truck could pull the trailer.

"The key to successful recycling is education," Schmidt said.

It was noted that Morris County uses an area designated with cattle panels for businesses to place cardboard for recycling. The county then picks up the cardboard and disposes of it.

County clerk Carol Maggard said there used to be recycling trash containers in the county offices when recycling was an option.

Commission chairman Randy Dallke said 50 to 55 percent was the highest participation by Peabody residents in using the recycling program that's available through a private hauler. He said he wasn't sure what a reasonable goal on a county level should be.

"We're already at $81 per household for solid waste," Dallke said. "Do we impose more fees to implement this program?"

Commissioner Dan Holub said there is a misconception about that $81 per year charge.

"That $81 charge will not disappear when the transfer station bond goes away," he said. "Here's a chance for residents to stay at the $81 per year charge and not see an increase. If residents don't want to participate, there is going to come a time when the county will have to increase the annual fee."

Schmidt suggested funding a recycling program with money not used to haul the waste to a landfill.

Commissioner Bob Hein said Vogt's Hometown Market at Hillsboro bails its cardboard for recycling.

"You consider grocery stores and other businesses, there's a lot of cardboard," Hein said.

Schmidt said the county could bail paper material and the county wouldn't have to pay the $5 per ton disposal cost.