City urged to lighten the recycling load for residents
By Mark Wineka
R. Wayne Bost says the city of Salisbury should look into providing recycling bins that are easier to get to the curb.
“I don’t see how some of these little old ladies in town get their recycling out,” said Bost, an East Innes Street resident.
Bost lodged his complaint recently with Salisbury City Council members during a public comment period.
Bost said when the city’s familiar blue recycling bins are loaded up with newspapers, magazines, glass and plastic, they become pretty heavy ó too heavy to carry.
He and others often have more in their 18-gallon recycling bins than they do in normal trash, Bost said.
Maybe part of the reason such a low percentage of Salisburians recycle is because the bins are too cumbersome to carry, Bosts suggested.
“I’d say I have trouble picking that up sometimes,” Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson said of his own blue bin. “I think it’s a good point, a really good point.”
Council thanked Bost for his input.
The city pays more than $400,000 a year for the pickup of recyclables, bills residents for the service and sees nothing back from the sale of the materials.
Only 32 percent of Salisbury’s residents participate in recycling, according to a 2008 city study.
Salisbury is in the first year of a three-year contract extension with BFI Waste Services, the firm that collects recyclables in the city.
The contract pays the company $407,835 a year. The same firm has picked up Salisbury’s recyclables since 1995.
Under the contract, recyclable materials include glass, cans, newspaper, plastic and cardboard.
The bins are emptied once a week at the curb when residents put out their regular garbage.
The recycling fee for residents is $3.14 a month, whether they recycle or not, and the charge appears on water-sewer bills, along with a residential landfill fee of $3.93 per green garbage container.