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Rincon takes a step toward recycling
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The city of Rincon is taking another step closer toward getting citywide recycling.

Interim city manager Wesley Corbitt and Russ Hightower of Waste Management will work on a contract,

"We’ve been looking at recycling for a long time," Corbitt said. "We’ve had about 50-plus calls wondering when we were going to go to recycling."

Corbitt consulted with three sanitation providers about adding recycling to the city’s trash pickup services. Waste Management can provide the service at an additional $3.51 to the current contract price of $10.47 per residential cart. The total cost proposed is $14.25 for recycling.

"It is a competitive price," Corbitt said.

Under the proposal from Waste Management, recycling will be picked up every other week from Rincon residents and businesses. It will be single-stream recycling, meaning all paper, glass, plastic and aluminum will go into one 96-gallon container.

"You throw everything into the bin," Hightower said. "It’s really easy. You’re used to having to separate everything out or rinsing it out.

"(Recycling) has taken off in the area in the last year, two years," Hightower said.

Springfield’s curbside recycling program is expected to start April 1, Hightower added.

The Recycle Bank program will be included in the contract, and customers can get as much as $15 a month in savings through coupons, Corbitt noted. The savings

average about $165 per home per year, Hightower explained, and there are national partners such as Lowe’s, Home Depot and McDonald’s involved in the program.

To take part in Recycle Bank, customers will be able to sign up at the Recycle Bank Web site, and they also will be able to sign up through a toll-free telephone number. Customers will get points based on the tonnage of recycling picked up on that route. The effort also includes sending out educational materials about recycling.

"We love the program, and we’d love to start it for you," Hightower told council members.

The city and Waste Management are about a year and a half into a five-year pact for garbage collection, so the recycling contract — if approved — would run to the end of that original arrangement.

Council member Frank Owens offered a concern that older residents, particularly those on fixed incomes, would have to pay the same rates as others.

"We caught heat for the higher water rates," said council member Paul Wendelken. "So the answer is ‘yes.’"

Council member Levi Scott also expressed his support for the recycling program but also was concerned that some residents may not generate as much recycling and once every two weeks may be too often a pickup for them.

"I wish there was a way to address that," he said.

Hightower also said that businesses have been clamoring for recycling.

"With Springfield and the county going to it, you’ll have more pleased than displeased with it," he said. "With once a week garbage pickup and once every other week recycling, you will fill everybody’s needs."

Waste Management will deliver one recycling-only cart to each customer, and Hightower said those customers who currently have two trash carts may find they only need one — the recycling cart likely will be filled by material that had been going into the regular waste stream but can be recycled.

"A second recycling cart is cheaper than a second garbage cart," Wendelken said. "What fills up that cart is stuff we can recycle."

Changes to the sanitation contract council members will review include a fuel fee adjustment and the addition of the recycling program.