Columbus to stop footing cost of curbside recycling
The Dispatch wrote Columbus to stop footing cost of curbside recycling
Monday, February 25, 2008
BY ROBERT VITALE
City Council members voted tonight to end a $389,000 annual subsidy for curbside recycling. “We can no longer afford the subsidy,” said Public Service Director Mark Kelsey, who noted that just 5 percent of his department’s customers are curbside subscribers.
Curbside recycling will continue for Columbus residents who want to pay for the convenience. For now, the $5 monthly fee will rise to $8.25 for current curbside customers on June 1.
Columbus residents who don’t want to pay for recycling can take their paper, bottles, cans and cardboard to any of 190 bins placed at schools, in parks and other locations. They’re the one bright spot in the city’s dismal recycling record. The number of drop-off locations nearly tripled in 2007, and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio reported an additional 1,100 tons of material collected. Rates are climbing so far this year, as well.
That’s why the end of the curbside subsidy shouldn’t be viewed as a sign Columbus is giving up on recycling, Kelsey said. Drop-off recycling is cheaper — $50 per ton of materials collected, compared with $200 a ton for pickup service — and might be better for the environment, too, he said.