Curbside recycling may expand sooner

Friday, November 14, 2008
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Marshall County Commissioner Don Ledford, left, reviews landfill and recycling issues as Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas, right, is ready to report progress in his department.

Curbside recycling of paper, plastic and metals for all residents of Lewisburg may be available sooner than originally planned, according to a report to the Marshall County Solid Waste Committee this week.

Meanwhile, the Solid Waste Department has recovered a large trash bin from a scrap metal business and refurbished it to be used for recyclable materials, Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas told county commissioners.

It's saved money and time, Thomas said with Solid Waste Committee Chairman Don Ledford praising the in-house recycling effort.

Lewisburg's Curbside Recycling Committee was scheduled to meet today, and while the work is performed by employees of the city's Public Works Department, the committee is developing the program as a combined effort with the county. Thomas is a member of the committee.

"I think we'll just do it in one felled swoop in January to have all the city added to the recycling program," Thomas told the county committee about when he anticipated the recycling service to expand.

Barbara Woods, a volunteer on the city committee, has said that she is frequently asked when the curbside recycling service will be expanded to other neighborhoods. the service started this past spring in several neighborhoods in the southwest part of Lewisburg.

"I can't foresee it being later than March" when the service area is expanded to all city residents, Thomas said.

Recycling was sought by Woods and other city residents and that request during the City Council's citizen comment part of each Council meeting was answered almost immediately with Woods' being authorized to develop plans with various city officials and the county's Solid Waste Department.

The program has been seen as even more important as the prospect of Cedar Ridge Landfill being closed has been revealed as more possible with a public hearing scheduled for next week and a vote by the Council on Tuesday on whether the landfill may be expanded or not. If not, it's closing within a year and the need to reduce trash shipments through recycling becomes greater since it's going to divert plastic, paper and metal from the waste stream to whatever landfill is used

The project has become more daunting, Thomas told commissioners, because the city committee's officials have realized there are more homes in the city than previously anticipated.

An original estimate was 3,600, but that might be off by about 450, Thomas said. A more accurate count is to be sought today when the city-formed recycling committee meets.

Lewisburg recently received a state grant for the purchase of more curbside containers that would be assigned to each household to be served by the recycling program. More will apparently be needed and so some of the grant money received to obtain an electronic devise might be used to buy more containers, Thomas said.