Augusta,Ga (WJBF) Every since the consolidated government offered trash service recycling has been part of the program now many on this commission feel recycling no longer makes dollars or sense.
Curbside recycling helps Augusta go green, but the costs have many city leaders seeing red.
“We may have to suspend it for a while, until we can find something that works,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
“Do you want to suspend it?”
“I don’t want to but were losing lots of money,” said Williams.
Landfill officials telling commissioners at a work session the recycling program costs about 300 thousand dollars a year, but with the current market for materials the city is bringing in nearly no revenues.
“Very little I think last year we grossed 25 thousand dollars in returns we made selling the recyclable materials we’re definitely upside down,”said Interim Deputy Landfill Director Becky Padgett.
About 24 thousand people in Augusta have recycle bins put most don’t do it right, 80 to 85 percent of the materials are contaminated meaning, they can’t be recycled and go to the landfill instead.
“They will reject the load, and actually charge additional fees to take it, months ago years ago we were getting paid for are recyclable now we’re paying them to take them,” said Padgett.
With the costs, and the high contamination rate commissioners saying changes are a must.
“85 percent is ending up in the landfill, that is unacceptable, the amount of money we are losing every year we cannot continue to burden our tax payers that kind of loss I think we need to take a step back suspend the program,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
“It needs to be suspended it needs to be ended,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
“I’m not ready to walk away I don’t think that’s being very environmentally conscience,” said Padgett.
Commissioners now says 80 to 85 percent recyclables going top the landfills anyway, with the program costing between 285 to 385 thousand dollars a year they don’t see 2020 as a year where recycling continues in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.