Not quite there

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today is Earth Day, and a local company has fallen short of its goal to have 3,000 Suffolk households signed up for curbside recycling.

TFC Recycling now will begin calling people who signed up to get billing information, a process that is expected to take three to four weeks.

“After tomorrow, we have to evaluate how many people we have signed up,” said Ed Farmer, vice president for business development at TFC Recycling. “It’s going to take us three to four weeks to go through and see how many people are truly committed to the program.”

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As of Wednesday afternoon, roughly 2,020 people had told the company they would pay $12 a month for curbside recycling, which would include the use of a 96-gallon bin. However, Farmer expects that number to drop once they begin calling people because of people who decide they don’t want to do it, possible duplicate sign-ups and more.

“If the numbers are low once we ask for the commitment, then we will have a discussion with the city to see what’s in everyone’s best interest,” Farmer said. “I can’t give a drop-dead date until we know the numbers.”

Mayor Linda T. Johnson, in a City Council meeting Wednesday, implored residents to sign up for recycling.

“Please, please, please think about signing up for recycling,” Johnson said. “Think about your grandchildren.”

People can continue to sign up during that three- to four-week time period, just as they will be able to when the program starts, Farmer said.

He added the company is committed to starting the program, but they have to have high enough numbers to cover their cost.

“As soon as we feel the numbers are sufficient to cover our cost, we will definitely start the program,” he said, adding the company expects additional sign-ups once the program starts.

“Once we start putting them out and people see the blue bins, that’s going to spur additional activity,” Farmer said.

Suffolk Public Works director Eric Nielsen agreed.

“I think there’s going to be lots of spin-off on that,” Nielsen said.

To sign up online, or for more information, visit or call 543-5766.