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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Council To Consider Expanding Residential And Public Recycling Options

Council To Consider Expanding Residential And Public Recycling Options

The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider expanding recycling options for all customers and providing public recycling containers at various locations during their November 13, meeting.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider expanding recycling options for all customers and providing public recycling containers at various locations during their November 13, meeting.
According to Town Manager Tim Owens, the Town Council recently requested information on increasing recycling options at various locations throughout Town.
Owens explained earlier this week, "Increasing recycling within the Town is feasible. One of the primary concerns regarding contamination is no longer a concern given that Waste Industries is now sifting contamination from recyclables."
He explained, "This has resulted in the recyclables at the boardwalk (downtown merchants) now being recycled as opposed to going to the landfill. This sifting process ultimately has saved the Town money given the extra charge that was added when the boardwalk recyclables went to the recycling center and then to the landfill if it was contaminated" with other garbage.
Owens wrote in a memo to the Council, "This new process does not mean that merchants or residents/visitors now do not have to sort recyclables. This sorting still needs to take place. Contamination of recyclables usually means items such as plastic bags, garbage, or other materials are mixed in with items that are recyclable. The new process is designed to sift through the larger contaminants in order for it to be processed."
He explained, "Recycling in the long term could help save the Town money. This is particularly true if recycling in the home increases. Disposal of residential trash costs the Town $59 per ton for disposal in the landfill. Recyclables cost the Town $35 per ton to process."
Owens presented two options to encourage residential recycling. Currently, the Town issues residential homes an 18 gallon bin for each residence. Homeowner's Associations and larger complexes can request one or multiple 65 gallon containers or multiple 18 gallon bins.
Owens explained one option is to eliminate the 18 gallon bins and replace the bins with a 65 gallon closed top container. The additional cost for the resident would be $2.19 per household per month or $26.28 per year. Curbside pick-up of these items would continue to occur weekly.
Another option is to eliminate the 18 gallon bins and replace the bins with a 96 gallon closed top container. The additional cost for the resident would be $2.19 per household per month or $26.28 per year. Curbside pick-up of these items would continue to occur weekly.
Owens explained, "The above options should help increase recycling on the island given the additional storage capacity. The closed top container should also improve the condition of the recyclable
materials (rain), improve the appearance of the Town on trash collection day, and help eliminate recycle materials being blown around on windy days."
For public places and events, currently the Town does not recycle at beach access sites, the Boardwalk, the Central Business District or at Freeman Park  on the beach. 
Owens explained, "This recycling program would only include cans and plastic bottles - no glass or paper."
Owens will offer Council a plan to work through the logistics of expanding recycling in public areas.
One recommendation is to add recycling containers in areas such as the Boardwalk, beach access points, parking areas, and various events taking place throughout the year at places such as the Carolina Beach Lake and the Boardwalk.
Owens explained 56 cans would cost around $7,500 and plastic bags for the year costing $1,000.
He explained, "Currently, staff is overwhelmed during the summer months with regular duties. We are proposing that additional funding should be considered for an additional temporary employee to handle these job responsibilities. We estimate that an additional temporary employee for 5 months at 7 days a week to be $17,000."
Owens said there are other logistics to consider. He explained, "At the end of the beach day, the employee would use a pick-up truck
(and possibly a trailer) to gather bags at all of the locations mentioned above. The recyclables would then have to be transported to the boardwalk recycle dumpster and each bag would have to be manually dumped into the container. Plastic bags may be able to be reused if they are in good condition for a limited time. New bags would be placed in the containers as recyclables are taken out."
He explained, "The added benefit is that this additional employee would also make an additional pass down the beach strand to clean up around trash can areas that may overflowing or have large items
(beach chairs, umbrellas, etc.) placed in the area or removal of debris on the beach strand that is left behind. If time permits, the same pass could take place at Freeman Park to remove similar debris. This extra pass in the evening hours should address some of our concerns regarding the appearance of the beach after beach goers have left."
He explained, "Depending on the volume, the existing recycle container at the boardwalk may have to be upgraded to a compactor or dumped more often. If the solution is to dump the boardwalk recycle container more often which could add additional cost. In
the event that a compactor is more effective and efficient, the upgrade cost could be $30,000. If a trailer is needed to pull behind the pick-up, the additional cost could be $5,000."
Owens said public education is another important aspect. Recommendations include around $10,000 for mass mailing with information on the new program, refrigerator magnets, stickers for containers and other marketing materials to educate the public.
He explained, "I believe that this initial program can be successful if we are provided the resources as mentioned above. This proposal does not
propose recycling at Freeman Park at this time. Given the amount of recyclables that would come from this area, the Town would have to commit additional resources and find a permanent location for a dumpster to handle the volume that will likely be generated. In order to expand our recycling program, additional space would be needed and should be part of our long-term plan for finding a new location for our operations department."
Owens estimates the total cost of the program at $35,000
He expressed a safety concern stating, "Given the manual nature of the process, the risk (as with a lot of our field jobs) could be injuries from lifting or injuries from glass or other items mixed in with the recyclables. Recycle
cans that are grossly contaminated would still have to be disposed of as garbage. While an employee can
do some sifting of non-recyclable contents, this should be limited given the same risk concerns."
The Council will discuss Owens recommendations at their upcoming November 13, meeting at 6:30 PM at Town Hall in the Council meeting room.