A citywide curbside recycling program is on the way for delivery in Lawrence by October 2014.
“There is not going to be another city in the country that allows their residents to recycle so many materials so easily,” City Commissioner Aron Cromwell said. “This is a chance for us to become the progressive community we all talk about.”
City commissioners on Tuesday agreed to start a new every-other-week curbside recycling service on Oct. 15, 2014. Every household in the city will pay $2.81 per month for the service. The fee will be added onto residents’ monthly city utility bills.
Commissioners created the new service on a 4-1 vote. City Commissioner Mike Amyx voted against the proposal, saying he wanted the city to look for ways to lessen the effect the new service would have on the approximately half-dozen private recycling companies that operate in the city.
“I feel like we are going through a taking of these people’s businesses,” Amyx said. “I’m not sure it is our job to put somebody out of business.”
State law requires the city to wait 18 months, in large part to give private haulers time to adjust their business plans. City commissioners said they didn’t think buying out the private companies would be financially feasible.
The private companies will be allowed to continue operating, if they receive a license fromthe city. But their businesses are expected to be affected because the new service will require every household to pay the $2.81 fee to the city, even if the household chooses to do business with a private recycler.
The new service will be a single stream recycling system that accepts glass, paper, cardboard, tin, steel, aluminum, scrap metal and plastic containers with recycling symbols #1 through #7.
Commissioners on a 5-0 vote awarded a seven-year contract to Perry-based Hamm Quarries to operate a recycling processing facility just outside of North Lawrence to process the material collected from the new curbside program.