YUMA - It's taken five long years and four months of negotiating, but Yuma could see curbside recycling service become a reality very soon. The City has been putting together a proposal to present to the City Council.
"We're actually very close to finalizing a contract," says Yuma's City Administrator, Greg Wilkinson.
The contract he's talking about is with Allied Waste to make curbside recycling a reality in Yuma. Under the proposal, the city will still make two trash pickups each week: one for normal trash and another for recycling trash.
Many people have voiced concerns about the costs to the city and the costs to the taxpayer.
"The City would get some cost savings because we don't have to put as much tonnage into the landfills, so we wouldn't have to pay those tipping fees," explains Wilkinson.
In fact, the potential recycling deal could be an income source for the city.
"There's also a possible option where we could share in the revenues from recycling," Wilkinson told KSWT News 13.
Current negotiations are with Allied Waste, which would privatize recycling.
"We don't want to reinvent the wheel. Private companies already got things in place. We don't need to replicate what they have," stated Wilkinson.
Allied Waste already has the recycling containers, the EPA-compliant processes, and most of the needed employees in places. Wilkinson says going with a pre-existing operation like Allied Waste saves the City of Yuma more than two million dollars in up-front costs they'd have to shell out if they did it themselves from scratch.
Wilkinson admits, it's not a perfect plan, but he says they've done their homework.
"On a national average, about 70% of that is recyclables, so we believe there's going to be more trash going into the recycling container than in your green waste container," explains Wilkinson.
Of course, that presupposes all Yumans will be separating their trash. For those that don't, they'll have to make due with a single pickup each week. They can get a second trash container from the City, but they will have to pay a small monthly fee.
Wilkinson says a final deal with Allied Waste could be signed in as little as two weeks. *IF* the deal goes through, City Council approval could come as early as next month.
But Wilkinson says it will probably take six months or so after approval, before recycling trucks will be making their first rounds in Yuma neighborhoods.
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