Albany city leaders approve curbside recycling proposal -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany city leaders approve curbside recycling proposal

Phil Roberson, Public Works Director Phil Roberson, Public Works Director
A recycling center located behind the Albany Civic Center A recycling center located behind the Albany Civic Center
Christopher Pike, City Commissioner Christopher Pike, City Commissioner
City Commissioners during Tuesday's meeting at the Government Center in downtown Albany City Commissioners during Tuesday's meeting at the Government Center in downtown Albany

City leaders say it's time Albany becomes more environmentally friendly.

Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved a Public Works proposal to create a curb side recycling program.  But any approved program wouldn't be a requirement for residents.

The Public Works Department Director said a recycling program would save tons of reusable items that would otherwise go into landfills.  And some of the money generated by recycling could come back into the city's pocket.

Separating paper from plastic, aluminum cans, or glass sounds easy enough.  But some say hauling items to the city's recycling centers can become a bit of a hassle.

"We heard the citizens loud and clear when they told us they wanted curbside recycling," said Phil Roberson, Public Works Director. 

So they developed a program for citizens interested in participating in recycling.

"In the past, it's been looked at as part of the solid waste collection agreement or contract that goes every five years.  What staff and the city have decided to do at this time is to offer it as a subscription service,"  Roberson said.

Roberson said allowing citizens to sign up for the service independently will prevent the city from having to charge more money for garbage services.  He said other cities offer recycling services at minimal costs.

"Well, it can go as high as ten dollars a month, it can go as low as five.  It depends on the number of customers that are available to the entity and what the interest is.  We hope, through this process, to keep it on the low end of the scale," said Roberson. 

The city's been working to develop a program for quite some time, and commissioners say the time has finally come.

"A lot of communities our size have recycling programs it's something that I think is beneficial.  It gives people in the community the opportunity to recycle without having to take it to the two locations that we have in the city," said Christopher Pike, City Commissioner.

They said the program will help reduce strain on city dumps.

"Every pound of household garbage that goes into a recycling bin and is ultimately recycled is one less pound of garbage into a landfill.  So we're excited about the process," Roberson said. 

Pike said the program could do more than promote greener living.

"It can also spur some economic development because then we have other folks coming in and creating more jobs.  This company obviously is gonna be hiring people to go around and collect recyclables.  So I think it has a lot of benefits for our community," said Pike. 

Commissioners said the curbside service could be available by the end of the year.  A franchiser interested in providing the service will have to go through the public works department before they can appear before the city commission for approval.

Roberson said a provider could be selected within the next three months.

Commissioners said they'll include provisions in a contract with the provider to prevent price gouging for services. 

Roberson said the program will likely expand if a lot of residents sign up for the services within the first six-to-12 months.

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