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Springfield pushing ahead with recycling

POSTED: December 15, 2011 6:11 p.m.

Citywide recycling is coming to Springfield.

Council members voted Tuesday to adopt citywide recycling after a successful pilot program ended recently.

“Everything seems to be in a positive manner,” Mayor pro tem Jeff Ambrose said.

Council members held two public hearings last week on recycling and though the comments were few in number, they were all in favor of it.

“All the comments were positive,” city manager Brett Bennett said. “And all the comments I’ve heard outside the meeting were positive.”

The pilot program targeted nearly 100 homes in the Ash Street, Early Street and Laberta Circle area. Trash pickup is done twice a week in Springfield and the recycling pickup will be done every two weeks. It will be single stream recycling, meaning residents won’t have separate glass, plastic or paper.

By adding the recycling program citywide, the city also may cut back on its garbage pickup to once a week.

Council members gave Bennett the go-ahead to negotiate a contract with Waste Management, the city’s garbage service contractor, for the recycling.

“I think it’s great,” Bennett said. “I think we need to move in that direction.”

Council members also discussed what to do with a proposed ordinance regulating the use of golf carts on city streets, and it appears the city may prohibit the carts to be on the roads at night. The city’s ordinance would have to meet state law, which dictates the use of headlights, taillights and directional blinkers on state roads after dark.

“The only thing in question was the lighting requirement at night,” Bennett said. “I don’t see where we have much choice, only to say, ‘don’t ride them at night.’”

If the ordinance wasn’t changed to meet state laws, Bennett estimated that nearly all of those in Springfield who use golf carts on city streets would not have headlights, taillights or blinking lights.

“It might not be a bad idea to say, ‘no riding at night’ for now,” he said.

Pearl Thomas told council members she has come close to hitting a neighbor who has been riding in a golf cart at night without lights.

“I didn’t see him,” she said. “It’s very dangerous. I wouldn’t want to see him get hit, and I wouldn’t want to hit him.”

Bennett said council members should have an ordinance ready to adopt at their next meeting, which will be held Jan. 9.

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