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Free curbside recycling going away

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Come July 1, free curbside recycling services will no longer be offered in Davie County.

Recycling will still be available from Republic Services to county residents, but it will come with a small fee and only be available to those who hire Republic for trash removal, as well.

Tony Krasienko, Republic operations manager, told county commissioners that Davie is one of only three counties that offer free curbside recycling.

“The current program is a business model that is not sustainable,” he said.

The county’s contract with Republic goes through 2023, and the mid-contract change was approved unanimously by county commissioners.

“The good news is, we can fix it so it can be sustainable,” Krasienko said.

Krasienko and Tracy Nestor, Republic senior area municipal sales manager, said that recyclables are not profitable like they once were.

And there’s the problem of people putting things into the curbside recycling container that don’t belong – things such as dirty diapers and water hoses. Big pieces of metal – though recyclable – are not in a curbside program because they can tear up the automatic recycling machine, they said.

“Contamination has increased due to carelessness and a lot of wishful recycling,” Krasienko said. “People are adament about recycling and they want to recycle everything they possibly can. That desire loses the message as to what’s recyclable in a curbside program.”

Krasienko said when Republic first contracted with Davie, the value of recyclables was $200 per ton. Now, it’s $50-$70 per ton.

While the company can somewhat control costs in collecting the recyclables, it has little or no control of the market value. The new contract includes language that could change the rates based on commodity value.

Under the new plan, a resident must subscribe to trash collection to be eligible for recycling collection. The cost will be $22.68 per month, $19.70 of which is for trash collection. A month of free service is offered to those who sign up before June 15.

This plan does not affect customers in the incorporated towns.

As of last year, 7,500 county residents paid for curbside trash service. Those who pay for trash collection will have to pay the fee for recyclables, as well. A separate recycling program will not be offered.

The move is expected to save the county $134,539 per year. Renters would pay for the service, not property owners. Residents may still use the convenience site on Dalton Road, where trash may be dumped for $10 for a car or pickup load, $25 for a trailer load and $35 for a pickup and trailer load. Sorted recyclables may be dropped off there at no charge.

To request new service, call Republic’s customer resource center at 336-751-1585. Use the promo code DAVIENEWCUSTOMER to get the free month of service.