Americus city council set to look at recycling again - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus city council set to look at recycling again

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Americus city leaders are hoping to create a new curbside recycling program that won't cost residents. 

It comes after lots of folks got angry when they found out items they thought were being recycled were just going to the landfill. 

The Americus City Council struck down a proposed recycling plan that would charge everyone 2 dollars for a curbside recycling, but they may be able to come up with something even better. 

Pat Spann has been in Americus for a long time. 

"I opened in 1980 so we are coming up on 35 years," said Spann. 

Spann owns a pizza restaurant and spends a lot of time taking his boxes and cups to recycling areas. 

"We wash them and get the paper off of them and then we had bins we put them in and then id drive them out to the big recycling dumpsters," said Spann. Pat had been bringing his pizza boxes and cups and just throwing them in this dumpster--thinking they were going to Warner Robins but when they weren't going there, he had no idea they weren't even being recycled. 

"They were still collecting it as if it was being driven to Warner Robins, but the goods were actually being driven with the rest of the trash to the landfill," said Chief Administrative Officer Lauralee Bernstein.

After the plant in Warner Robins closed for financial reasons, city leaders didn't tell people the recyclables they continued to drop off weren't actually being recycled. 

Spann and others found out a couple weeks ago they were being taken to the landfill. 

"It's a lot of effort and a lot of driving to do this for all these years so I quit doing it," said Spann.

A new recycling plant has since opened in Crisp County. When nearly 90 people showed up at the meeting to protest the council's decision to strike down the recycling plan, the council's stance has changed.

"Council members always like to represent the people. They're wanting to do what the community wants, and if they seem that that's what the community wants then they're going to vote for what they want," said Bernstein.  

If recycling becomes an option again, Spann says he will gladly go back to cleaning his boxes and cups. 

City leaders are drafting a new plan and hope to have it completed in time to vote on in August.

Proponents of the recycling plan think it will pass.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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