City looking beyond SPSA for recycling

Published 8:56 am Friday, October 2, 2009

FRANKLIN—The Southeastern Public Service Authority’s decision to end recycling for member communities is putting Franklin in a tight spot.

However, the authority’s decision last week to extend recycling until March 31 is giving the city a little more time to find a new recycling company.

“You have recycling requirements put upon each entity by the commonwealth, so you have to have some recycling program available,” City Manager June Fleming said Monday.

Under state code, 25 percent of the waste generated in the city must be recycled, but Fleming said that reaching the 25 percent requirement hasn’t been a problem in Franklin, because the city has a high rate of recycling.

Fleming said the city has to follow procurement procedures and is in talks with Southampton County to seek bids together to hopefully get a cheaper rate, but it won’t happen overnight.

“We’ve been working on it since we first knew about it,” she said. “We will be lucky if we can get it done by the end of February, but we think it will be more like the end of March.”

The City Council also approved a resolution formally stating its opposition to a 20-year commitment that ReEnergy Holdings LLC is asking for, should its bid for SPSA be accepted.

Councilman Barry Cheatham, who serves on SPSA’s Board of Directors, said that several member communities expressed concerns about the long-term commitment and were drafting resolutions stating that they do not support signing on to a 20-year deal.

“The strength lies in the resolution,” Fleming said.