Thursday, May 4, 2017

Future of Franklin County's recycling program in question

The County solid waste department said it might not make financial sense to continue Franklin county's recycling program but county commissioners say they are going to keep it going for now.

Solid waste director Fonda Davis said the recycling program costs the county a lot of money to operate, and its a lot of work for the landfill.

He said the program cost about 40 thousand dollars last year and has already cost about 15 thousand dollars this year.

The problem is that too many people abuse the program by dumping their household trash in the recycling bins.

That problem has become so bad that the county has closed recycling centers in Alligator Point, Lanark Village and Apalachicola – though they are working to reopen the centers in areas that are more highly visible.

And its not just that people are dumping trash in the recycling bins, but some people take aluminum out of the recycling bins – and that is cutting into any money the program might make.

Fonda said because of the cost and the work it creates for the solid waste department it might not be worth keeping the recycling program going but commissioners say they aren't ready to scrap the program yet.

They pointed out that there are a lot of people in the county who want to recycle, and they should have the opportunity to do that.

The county just needs to find a way to catch the lawbreakers – they have agreed to place video cameras at some recycling sites.

At one time the county commission had discussed mandatory garbage pickup around the county, which would alleviate much of the problem of people illegally dumping their household trash.

The board has not yet taken any action on that proposal – and haven't discussed it in many weeks.