Suffolk keeping recycling program

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

There won’t be any changes to the city’s recycling program right now.

On Wednesday, the Suffolk City Council voted 7-0 to continue with its existing recycling program. The 12,800 households receiving curbside service will continue using the 18-gallon blue bin.

The council’s decision bucked the sentiment of the small group of residents who spoke at the Southeastern Public Service Authority’s recent public meeting. Most of them told officials that they support SPSA’s desire to begin an automated recycling pickup that would require using a 90-gallon collection container.

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Meanwhile, council asked Eric Nielsen Jr., the city’s public works director, to find out from SPSA what neighborhoods are using the service. Citywide, only 26 percent of the households with curbside service take advantage of it.

Maintaining the system will cost the city $213,679, approximately $52,000 more than last year, Nielsen said. In contrast, switching the entire city to automated curbside recycling would cost about $812,000 annually.

Mayor E. Dana Dickens III asked the Nielsen to look at alternate, less costly way to implement automated curbside recycling in phases across the city.