two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

   LYONS (Sep 21 10) – The Economic Development and Planning Committee of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 this morning to send a revised local law to the floor for a ballot that will determine the fate of curbside recycling and county-sponsored recycling efforts.
   Three supervisors who were not part of the committee – Steve Groat (Galen), Brian Manktelow (Lyons) and Dick Colacino (Arcadia) – appeared at the meeting to protest what appears to be the imminent cessation of the curbside recycling program, which half of Wayne County’s 31,000 homes participate in.
    Next step is a vote on the local law by the entire board of supervisors, set for a special meeting on Sep. 28 at 9 a.m. If the board enacts the local law revision, the county will end its curbside pick-up service Jan. 1, 2011, and leave the matter in the hands of local haulers, who must provide recycling service “to the same extent…not to a token extent,” said County Administrator Jim Marquette.  The move is seen as a cost savings to the county.
   The county would continue, for a time, to operate the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for recyclables, plus a recycling education program, and administrative costs, for $545,000 a year.
   Private haulers who will pick up the slack must be registered and will choose to offer single-stream service (where recyclables are put in one caontainer) or dual-stream service (where recyclables are separated for curbside pickup into paper and glass/cans containers).
   Supervisor Laurie Crane (Huron) asked if any of the county’s dozen or so haulers has dual-stream equipment. Sharon Lilla, who administers the recycling program, said only Waste Management Inc. has those trucks. Residents will keep their blue bins.
   “What’s our plan to remove the cost to the taxpayers at the levy level?” asked Groat, assuming that cost savings would translate to tax savings if county curbside pickups disappear. He didn’t get an answer.
   He said Supervisor Bob Plant (Walworth) had spokne to haulers and found out they would assess “no cost” up to $5 for handling the recycling once the changeover has been made. Groat figured that amounted to $900,000 that the 31,000 homes in the county would pay private haulers, instead of being taxed.
   But there were problems with that idea.
   “No way is the MRF going to stay in business,” said Manktelow. “I can’t see it surviving. Haulers are going to go single stream. They will do a price cut in picking up the recycling business. They will cut the rate for two or three years, then gouge the customers. I’m not against privatizing the collection, but I’m against throwing our constituents under the rug.
   “This is like an unfunded mandate. We have an obligation to people to provide the best possible chance to recycle at the lowest cost. These (cost) numbers will escalate. The haulers are going to put it to them.”
   “A lot of this is emotion and unknowns,” said Dave Spickerman (Butler), chairman of the committee. He said the way recycling was being done now, only the 31,000 homes in the county could participate. When the local law is changed, businesses could now get involved.
   Spickerman said “out of thousands and thousands of people, just a few came to the meeting (Sept. 9)” to speak in favor of keeping the present program.
   “Everyone complains about Albany, but we’re doing the same thing they do – we can’t get off the dime and make a decision.”
   “I have a very hard time supporting a law when not one person came to that meeting supporting it,” said Colacino. “I don’t think we gave this recycling program a fair shake.”
   Supervisor Bob Kelso (Ontario), who with Ken Lauderdale (Savannah) did some research and made a special report to the entire board, said the Tompkins County recycling plan is the model because it had a solid business plan (which Wayne County lacks) and a capitalization plan to maintain and replace equipment, which Wayne also lacks. He said if the county were going to be in the recycling business, it would have to make an investment.
   “The private sector can do the job more cheaply,” Spickerman said. “The strong will survive.”
   “You’re throwing the small haulers to the dogs,” Groat said. “You’re putting pressure on the business community and you have no concern about it at all – that drives me nuts.”
   “I’m concerned we’ll have just one or two haulers left when all is said and done,” said Colacino.
   Groat and Colacino both suggested the county stay in the recycling business long enough to have a public referendum on the idea. They also suggested bidding recycling out to private haulers as a stopgap while the county gets its ailing truck fleet operational or buys new trucks. “You’re not going to have a cost savings bidding it out,” said Marquette.
   “When I talked to the haulers,” Groat said, “they told me recycling would fall off because people would have to pay for it, and the landfill loads would increase 20 to 50 percent. Some haulers will offer a deal where they won’t charge for recycling – it will all go to the dump.”
   Although Lilla argued that the new local law requires haulers to provide recycling service, Colacino asked what would prevent haulers from tossing the recyclables into the garbage. Lilla said an “enforcement provision” involving the sheriff was the countermeasure.
   Miller also argued that the private sector would make the program work. “Let the businesspeople be creative,” he told the committee.
   “I can’t support a resolution that doesn’t have the taxpayer in mind,” said Groat. He promised that the new law would “blow up” in the faces of the supervisors, and asked that “anyone with a conflict of interest abstain from the vote.”
   Lilla asked that whatever the supervisors do, that it be definitive: “Let’s have the full faith and support of the county to get in or get out (of the recycling business).”
   “I haven’t heard anyone said, “We don’t want recycling,” said Manktelow, “and I’ve asked a lot of people.”
   Miller argued that people wouldn’t want to continue it “if they knew how much it will cost.”
   “This is the only program we offer that ordinary people get a benefit from,” said Manktelow.
   “I believe the county and waste authority can do recycling for a lower cost,” said Colacino.
   “It’s not our job,” said Spickerman.
   Spickerman, Kelson and Miller voted to take the measure to the full board for a vote; Groat cast the lone “Nay.”



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  1. Sarah Taft Said,

    Oh My Mr. Groat the stupidest comment I've heard is people won't use it if they have to pay for it. I challenge you take a look at Monroe County where recycling is picked up with garbage and the sea of blue boxes is amazing. Participation is record HIGH.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 06:48:00 AM EDT

  2. Anonymous Said,

    Ms. Taft, This not Monroe County

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 06:52:00 AM EDT

  3. Anonymous Said,

    Monroe County is different in terms of density, demographics and income levels. Upon what statistics does Ms. Taft base her record HIGH participation comment on? Did she call the Monroe County Solid Waste Department, the County Executive, perhaps talk to a couple of waste companies? What streets did she drive down when conducting this assessment?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 07:14:00 AM EDT

  4. Sarah Taft Said,

    I lived in Monroe County and you can drive down any road and see the blue boxes at EVERY HOUSE.
    You're right this isn't Monroe County we do everything half assed backwards out here. We gripe about our high taxes and when they try to do something about them everyone then says oh we can't do that or get rid of that. We can't have it both ways people we are the lughing stock on NY just ask around because our Supervisors can't make decisions and neither can the people.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 07:20:00 AM EDT

  5. Sarah Taft Said,

    You watch how much our taxes go up if we keep the Authority. We have to buy all new trucks, pay for the workers we pay for everything concerning recycling. It is guaranteed to go up every year so our taxes will go up every year to support it just like every other *business* we have been dragged into, like the Nursing home, the home health aides. We have no right to be in businesses that will cost taxpayers money simple as that unless you like paying sky high taxes?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 07:35:00 AM EDT

  6. Anonymous Said,

    I live in wayne county and everyone on my road uses the service. I believe this is about keeping our world healthy which is caused by our consuption. This makes it necessary and something communities should pay for. Public good.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 07:38:00 AM EDT

  7. Sarah Taft Said,

    Our businesses out here do NOT use the service and they are some of the biggest contributors to it. K&D disposal out of Palmyra already picks up recyclables in Ontario County for $1 more a month on the garbage bill.

    For me I will recycle no matter which way it goes but if my mortgage payment keeps going up due to taxes going up I sure would like to see it go down.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 07:53:00 AM EDT

  8. Sarah Taft Said,

    I live in wayne county and everyone on my road uses the service. I believe this is about keeping our world healthy which is caused by our consuption. This makes it necessary and something communities should pay for. Public good.

    Even if it has lost money for the last 10 years? it has too. You don't keep throwing money at something that doesn't work that is just foolishness and the reason why our State is nearly bankrupt. Since when is it for public good to keep throwing money at something time and time again that keeps losing money and expecting a different result?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 08:01:00 AM EDT

  9. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Has it actually been said that the county is losing money on the recycling program, or just that it's a large expenditure item on the budget?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 08:36:00 AM EDT

  10. Sarah Taft Said,

    it has been stated in previous articles in various newspapers, that it has lost money and the county has had to step in with more taxpayer dollars. It has never broken even in the whole time the Authority has been in exisitance. Yes it is a not for profit but it should at least break even shouldn't it?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 08:45:00 AM EDT

  11. Sarah Taft Said,

    I also should have stated that I confirmed with my Supervisor that this program has lost money over the years.

    Which is why I don't understand WHY he is still supporting it? Any answers Supervisor LeRoy?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 08:48:00 AM EDT

  12. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    I'm not sure that "breaking even" should be a concept that County government should be concerned with, it should be more about maximizing the use of the resources we have.

    A huge reason Wayne County should be very careful about letting go of their recycling program--which is wildly successful as far as the act of actual recycling goes--is that it's just about the only thing Wayne County does which looks good in the eye of the taxpayer.

    This "privatizing recycling" issue would not even be a discussion topic if county officials didn't bring it up in the first place...we've had a system which people have liked and continue to like for a long time.

    Why not focus on making an impact where Wayne County is failing, instead of one of the areas where county services have been successful?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 09:19:00 AM EDT

  13. Sarah Taft Said,

    Um Seth it DOESN'T work if businesses can't take advantage does it? Where do you think their stuff goes? TO THE DUMP I know I am one of those small businesses with the exception I take mine to Monroe County which will accept it.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 01:45:00 PM EDT

  14. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    I concede that I was unaware of private business being left out of the current recycling program.

    Still though, I see that piece as separate from eliminating what we have...what would your view be if Wayne County expanded its current program to include businesses?

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 01:56:00 PM EDT

  15. Sarah Taft Said,

    It will cost more in taxes to include businesses. either way I pay but upping my taxes makes my mortgage payment go up and not just by a few dollars. I'd rather pay out of my own pocket instead yes it's a seperate bill BUT it will be smaller than having my mortgage go up due to taxes rising.

    I would be all for keeping the Authority IF we didn't have to pay to repair/buy trucks which by the way we NOT budgeted this time around and we are eventually going to have update the MRF too. Those 2 things alone will cost MILLIONS of dollars directly from us the taxpayer.

    Posted on Wed Sep 22, 02:10:00 PM EDT


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