Earlier this month, the Marshall County Solid Waste District Board of Directors discussed the Waste and Recycling ordinance. Director Marianne Peters said the ordinance states that all companies collecting residential curbside trash pick-up in the towns, city, and rural areas must offer to recycle. She said the county is not compliant with its ordinance because there are companies collecting trash in the county that don’t offer recycling services.
Peters spoke about the Town of Bourbon accepting bids for trash and recycling services for 2023 and that several companies were interested in providing services to the Town of Bourbon, but they didn’t offer recycling services.
Peters said there is some mounting pressure to do something about the ordinance. She spoke to the County Attorney Jim Clevenger, and he said the ordinance would need to be rewritten, voted on, and a public hearing.
Several communities have had major issues with the trash and recycling services contracted with Republic Services over the last 12 to 18 months.
Peters asked the Board of Directors what their next steps should be. She said, “As far as our district, our role is to promote reduction, reuse, recycling, and safe disposal.” The ordinance is something the County Commissioners would have to modify. She said they could advise changes and some areas that should be kept including having waste haulers register with Marshall County Solid Waste and provide proof of insurance. This would also give the district information on who is hauling in the county.
There was concern if the county were to consider moving away from requiring curbside recycling services people could choose to pay for recycling services, use the Recycle Depot, or just not recycle. Peters said she was concerned that citizens would come to the center and bring more items and she would need to hire more help.
Peters said, “For rural recycling If it’s going to be curbside there has to be a lot of cooperation between the hauler, the Solid Waste District, and the local authorities to really educate people and enforce non-dumping behavior which takes a lot of work.” She suggested they refuse to collect contaminated recycling but tag the toter so the customer knows why their toter wasn’t emptied.
Peters suggested creating a task force if there is a need to modify the recycling ordinance. She suggested a group of stakeholders sit down and say what’s going to work in Marshall County? What kind of recycling for the people of Marshall County? What do the people of Marshall County want as far as recycling services? Peters said not everyone cares about recycling but for those that do, what makes the most sense to them? What’s affordable and what is convenient and clear?
The board asked about a recycling enforcement mechanism and determined there wasn’t anything.
They discussed remote recycling centers that are manned and fenced in for each municipality instead of curbside. It would be contracted with a waste hauler.
Commissioner Mike Burroughs suggested discussing the ordinance with the County Attorney and looking at what other counties are doing because Marshall County isn’t the only one facing recycling issues and also look at the enforcement side of recycling too.