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Curbside recycling could start by May
The city of Yuma could start offering curbside recycling as soon as May if the council approves a contract with Allied Waste Transportation when it meets Wednesday.
The service, at least initially, would be offered only for single-family residences within the city, Joel Olea, director of field operations for the city, told the Yuma City council during a briefing at Tuesday's work session.
And it would be provided at no additional cost to the homeowners, he said.
Approval of the contract is on the agenda for the council's regular meeting, to be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers at Yuma City Hall, One City Plaza.
Under the contract, Allied Waste would provide 21,000 blue recycling containers at no cost to the city. The company would take title to recyclables, process and sell them, conduct a materials audit to identify the types and quantities of materials that are being collected, provide the city with monthly reports and partner with the city on an educational campaign for residents and schools.
As a conservative estimate, Olea said, recycling could potentially divert 15 percent — 4,800 tons — of the city's waste stream a year. That would save the city $134,400 in landfill fees. In addition, he anticipates the city, which is to be paid 10 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the recyclables, would receive $9,600 a year in shared revenue.
That figures out to be an annual possible savings to the city of $144,000 a year, he said.
That's money that will go into the city's solid waste enterprise fund to help pay for the replacement of trash collection trucks and other expenses by the department, said City Administrator Greg Wilkinson.
Olea said the plan is for the city to collect regular trash on Mondays and Tuesdays, the heaviest days for trash pickup, and recyclables on Thursdays and Fridays. Both collections would use the same trucks and drivers so there would be no added cost to the city, he added.
At the request of Mayor Al Krieger, Olea said he did look into an alternative recycling program. He noted that in St. Peters, Mo., population 52,575, residents are provided bags for their recyclables and place them in the trash. The city incurs an annual cost of $160,000 to provide the bags, and its solid waste rate is $23.16 per month.
In other business, Councilman Paul Johnson made a motion to move the call to the public to the end of the agenda for Wednesday's meeting. Typically, call to the public is at the beginning of the meeting.
Krieger said he didn't understand the reason for the change.
Johnson responded that he's heard complaints from business people who attend council meetings to speak to an issue of importance to the business community, or at least to hear the discussion.
The motion passed 6-1, with Krieger emphatically casting his “no” vote. The same was true for a second motion by Johnson to further pursue the change during a future meeting.
After the meeting, community activist Jack Kretzer questioned the action and claimed it violated the open meeting law's requirement that any changes to the agenda must be posted at least 24 hours in advance.
However, Wilkinson said that because it was a procedural motion, the change in the order of the agenda doesn't have to be posted.