Recycling in Emporia may be in for a change as the Emporia City Commission passed a resolution of intent at their meeting last Wednesday to consider a new curbside recycling system. The new system, according to Amy Becker, owner of The Green Door Recycling at 1628 West St., would simplify the recycling process for residents.
The current process requires residents to transport their recycling to trailers around town or the city recycling plant. But the new system would allow Emporians to put all recyclables into one bin to be collected and sorted later.
The Natural Resources Advisory Committee is currently conducting research in order to discern whether or not the new system will work for Emporia, and if so, how best to go about it.
“They’re just trying to study to see if it’s more efficient to run that through the city or run it through a private company or not at all,” said Casey Woods, director of Emporia Main Street. “They’re just trying to put some numbers out there through a study to see what are the best decisions that we can make.”
The NRAC has already visited Winfield, El Dorado, South Hutchison and Newton, all of which have curbside recycling services. They examined recycling facilities, how those communities manage who sorts the recyclable materials, whether or not multiple bins are used, and frequency of pickup.
Becker said that the new program would cost around $650,000 to purchase new trucks to pick up the recycling, as well as to hire new employees, which would break down to roughly a $1 per month tax increase for Emporia residents. Any Emporia resident may use the service, as well as some businesses, should they elect to use it.
But even though the council has passed a resolution for their intent to consider the new recycling plan, the service won’t even be able to begin for at least 18 months. According to Kansas state law, once a plan has been adopted, the service itself may not begin until 18 months have passed. Nearly two years will pass before Emporia sees the start of this new initiative.
Even though the service won’t begin for some time, Macon Hunt, sophomore secondary education major, said that she feels that it will be a worthwhile endeavor.
“I think it’s a great idea because then people won’t have to take so much time out of their day just to sort through their recycling materials,” Hunt said. “That way the people that have to work every day in and out, they have someone else to (sort the recyclables), that’s their job, they take care of it.”
The full resolution detailing the city commission’s intent can be found on Emporia’s website.