Summerville looks at options to revert to old recycling program

VIDEO: Summerville looks at options to revert back to old recycling program

SUMMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Residents in Summerville could soon be paying more to bring back their old recycling program.

Town council members heard several options for the single-stream recycling program at a Public Works Committee meeting Wednesday.

That's where you dump all your recyclables in one container to be picked up.

Last fall, the town started a paper and cardboard program only with Waste Pro.

At the committee meeting Russell Cornette Jr., Director of Public Works, said in order to modify the fee schedule, a public hearing would have to be held and the counties would need to be notified of the change in fees by August of this year.

Wednesday Cornette said he's not sure how the town would fund the program if it was brought back.

If the town were to include plastics, tins, and glass, customers could be paying up to an additional $30 per year.

"That's not really that much, I don't think," said Joe Bible, of Summerville.

Bible said he would like to see the old recycling program back in Summerville.

Having lived overseas in Germany, where recycling of everything is mandatory, the lack of doing so now is tough.

"I can barely fill up one container of recycles versus when I actually requested a second container and could easily fill up both of them," Bible said.
The town will look at three options to bring the single-stream recycling back.

Option 1:
  • Waste Pro installs a compactor on site, and loads compacted materials in roll off truck.
  • Waste Pro uses a roll off truck to haul material to Columbia.
  • Waste Pro provides litter control at Summerville site.
  • This would cost $2.30 a month per home.
Option 2:
  • Waste Pro rents or buys excavator and employs a loader.
  • Waste Pro provides litter control.
  • Waste Pro contacts a third party hauler with walking floor trailer to transports retail to Sunoco in Columbia.
  • This would cost $2.05 a month per home.
Option 3:
  • Summerville loads with Town equipment (Staff does not recommend this).
  • Waste Pro provides litter control.
  • Waste Pro contracts a third party hauler with walking floor trailer to transport the material to Sunoco in Columbia.
  • This would cost $1.25 a month per home.

Charles Jones, of Summerville, said he would rather keep the recycling the way it is so he doesn't have to pay extra.

"I think its a waste of time," Jones said.

Right now homeowners are paying $8.50 per month, an annual $102 Solid Waste Collection Fee from approximately 15,000 properties which results in an annual revenue of approximately $1,530,000 for the Town.

Waste Pro's rate is currently $8.48 per unit per month.

Cornette said in January 2017, Waste Pro's monthly rate will increase to $8.73 per unit per month, which will create an annual shortfall of $41,400 by using
15,000 units.

Cornette said the staff's recommendation is to keep the program how it is.

"The reason we don't do recycling is because we had to pay to have it done," said Marylin Barker, of Summerville. "So we just go ahead and take our own down."

Barker said she takes all of her recyclables to County convenience centers to avoid paying the town fee.

If the Town were to reinstate the single-stream program, all of the items would be taken to the closest facility at Sunoco's MRF in Columbia.

At the April Finance Committee meeting, staff recommended staying with the current program until the Charleston County MRF is operational, which is expected to occur in approximately 18 months.

Berkeley County is also working towards developing a facility that would possibly accept recycling materials as soon as summer 2017.

The committee decided to the discussion and will readdress the recycling issue at the next meeting.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.