County, city move forward with recycling

Published 9:37 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

COURTLAND—Franklin and Southampton County are moving forward with plans to pursue a joint contract for recycling services.

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday night to approve a notice of intent to award a 39-month residential recycling contract to Moody’s/A.V.E.S. of Smithfield and to appropriate more than $25,000 for the purchase of new recycling carts.

Monday night, the Franklin City Council approved a measure allowing city staff members to draft a letter of intent and begin negotiating a contract Moody’s/A.V.E.S.

Franklin and Southampton County have been working to find a new recycling provider since the Southeastern Public Service Authority announced last year that it would cease providing the service. Isle of Wight County was originally included in talks, but later decided not to pursue a collaborative effort with Franklin and Southampton County. Southampton County Assistant County Administrator Jay Randolph said the $25,265 appropriation is for the county to purchase approximately 500 95-gallon wheeled recycling carts, which Franklin already uses. The county currently uses small 18-gallon tubs for curbside recycling.

“In order for the service to be uniform to have the contractor be able to utilize his equipment to pick up both localities’…we’re recommending that we elevate our equipment to those 95-gallon carts,” Randolph told the board. Eight of the county’s refuse sites offer 20-yard recycling collection boxes.

Randolph said curbside recycling is currently available to 1,199 households in Newsoms, Boykins, Courtland, Hunterdale, Scottswood and Edgehill. However, only about 200 to 250 of those households participate.

“Every pound we can take from the solid waste stream and move over to the recycling stream is a significant savings for the county,” he said, noting that the county pays about 8.5 cents per pound to send garbage to SPSA’s landfill in Suffolk.

To help recoup the costs of purchasing the new recycling carts, Randolph said the county would be preparing a request for proposals to privatize the collection and disposal of solid waste at schools and county buildings. The county’s Public Works Department currently collects solid waste at schools and county buildings.

“We certainly know that the private sector can provide that service at a much more inexpensive rate,” he said.

Berlin/Ivor District Supervisor Ronald West said only offering curbside recycling to certain areas of the county “seems unfair.”

“We’re all paying for that service,” he said.

Randolph said savings accumulated from privatizing solid waste collection at the schools and county buildings could be used to expand the curbside service to other areas of the county, including the towns of Ivor, Capron, Branchville and the village of Sedley.

“Expanding the service is going to be beneficial to the taxpayers,” Randolph said.