October 13, 2011

Recycling Services Will Now Cost City $1,500 Annually

Recycling services for the residents of the City of Memphis, which previously had been provided free of charge by Industrial Opportunities, will now come at a cost of $125 per month.

Rhonda Yates, manager of the Kahoka workshop, announced the move in a letter to the Memphis city council that was read at the October 6th meeting.

"The cost to pickup recyclables is simply exceeding the price we receive for them," said Yates.

The cost implementation went into effect October 1. Recycle customers will be charged $1.50 per mile. The travel to Memphis and back represents approximately 54 miles round trip.

City clerk Angela Newman indicated the recycle trailer in Memphis is filled and emptied at least twice a week. That means the city would easily meet the $125 monthly cap on fees also established by Industrial Opportunities.

Yates noted that customers not wanting to pay the fees, can drop off recyclables between the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Council members discussed the possibility of procuring a larger trailer, that would require less frequent transport to Kahoka to be emptied. The system currently uses a stock trailer that was purchased with grant funds when the project first started more than a decade ago.

"Many workshops in the state of Missouri, which rely on recycling, are struggling right now to keep their doors open," Yates stated. "A few have already closed this year and more are facing closure soon. This is a last stitch attempt to save our recycling facility."

She noted that the service is key to the region not only for removing solid waste from landfills, but also for the fact that Industrial Opportunities employs 25 individuals with physical or mental handicaps.

"They rely on our workshop to provide them with employment, which they could not find elsewhere," she said. "Providing them a job enables them to be productive members of society and helps each gain self esteem."

The council agreed to continue with the service while reviewing funding opportunities for the new $1,500 annual expenditure.

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