The Helena-West Helena City Council is considering further discussion regarding a recycling program presented to the council Tuesday night. The proposed program would, if passed, increase resident water bills by $5 monthly.
The Helena-West Helena City Council is considering further discussion regarding a recycling program presented to the council Tuesday night. The proposed program would, if passed, increase resident water bills by $5 monthly. Following a presentation by Grant Rice, a representative from Metal Tech Industries in College Station, Texas on the machinery and technology needed for a recycling program in the community, Robert Hunter, an employee from the solid waste division of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) addressed the council. If the recycling program is adopted, Hunter noted that there would be available funding to help offset the costs, “What we have to offer this community is an outreach program. The only way any management of solid waste is going to be developed is through outreach and public awareness.” He continued, “The State of Arkansas offers that service to all communities and counties to help them develop management practices that include recycling or composting. What we have to offer to you are the tools to work with your school teachers, with your civic groups, and other organizations.” Brett Ford then proposed the creation of a non-profit recycling business entitled Care Recycling. Care Recycling would, if approved by the city council, sort and bail residential and commercial post-consumer recyclables as a renewable material for manufacturing companies. The business plan submitted by Ford related that the establishment of a recycling program would “give the city of Helena-West Helena a feasible and cost effective alternative to landfilling waste [and] make the city more attractive to existing/new citizens and businesses by providing a much-needed service.” Ford noted that “By recycling these post-consumer products the city could save $79,361.24 in tipping fees and 5,121,400 pounds of landfill space over the course of a year.” But the catch is that it would take 100 percent compliance of the 3,948 households and 481 businesses in the mandatory $5 fee added to Helena-West Helena residents' monthly water bill. Each resident would have an 11 gallon recycling container and a 50 gallon recycling bin. Each classroom in the city would receive a free container as well. Ford related that over 450 tons of cardboard is taken to the landfill, citing a recent study by ADEQ in 2008. He then went on to propose that Care Recycling would split the profits from cardboard recycling 50/50. “All I need to move forward is a partnership with the city and the $5 fee,” stated Ford. For more information on Care Recycling, contact Brett Ford at 870-995-9468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.