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County may hike its garbage fee for recycling
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Effingham County residents might face a little higher bill for sanitation next year to cover the cost of the recycling program.

County Administrator David Crawley said the county needs to present something soon in order to get the fee on preliminary tax bills, scheduled to be sent out next month.

The county’s current fee for sanitation is $180 for one cart, and that includes the cost for the recycling program. The countywide recycling program, with the green-topped blue carts reserved for recyclables, began Jan. 2. Collection for recyclables is every other week, and the cost for the county is $35 per year for each customer.

Crawley has proposed an increase of $20 per year in the sanitation fees to help cover the $35 cost per year.

"We have the ability to eat some of that through our fund balance in that department," he said.

The county now is covering the entire cost of the recycling program through the fund balance accumulated in the sanitation department.

"We absorbed the cost of recycling over the last six months," Crawley said.

The recycling program is single-stream, meaning customers don’t have to separate paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, bottles, etc., when putting those items in the recyclable carts.

"From my use of it, we fill up completely," Commissioner Steve Mason said.

Using the recycling containers also has cut down on the amount of household garbage being picked up, and Mason asked if that service could be reduced in order to cut down on the tonnage the county is charged