In September of last year, Commissioner Tom Green expressed an interest in possibly making commercial recycling mandatory in the city.
But after a report by city staff, Green and other commissioners will keep commercial recycling voluntary, at least for now.
Vice Mayor Justin Flippen said he prefers the “carrot over the whip.”
David J. Archacki, Emergency Management/Utilities director, said a lot of the businesses don’t currently do recycling because of various reasons, including cost and space issues. Business owner Nick Berry said he takes recycled materials regularly from his businesses to the city’s 24-hour recycling center but doesn’t have the room for a bin. “If we had room for two bins we’d love to recycle.”
Out of 290 commercial properties in the city, 54 participate in recycling, said Archacki.
“I thought it was much better than this. I’m disappointed,” Green said.
“The Emergency Management/Utilities Department has begun to work with Waste
Management on a comprehensive plan to encourage commercial recycling. In addition, staff will be working with Conceptual Communications [the city’s public relations firm] to highlight the volunteer recycling program in a public campaign to increase participation in voluntary commercial recycling. Results of those efforts will be reported to the Commission at a future meeting,” wrote Rita Sanz, administrative coordinator Emergency Management/Utilities Department in the report to commissioners.
The state allows municipalities to enact mandatory recycling programs for businesses but each business must be allowed to choose its own waste carrier. City officials can’t force businesses to hire a certain waste removal company.