Starkville Recycling has announced they will no longer be a part of the city’s free curbside recycling program.
Stan Shurden, owner and operator of SR, said Friday that he mailed a termination notice to the City of Starkville after a year’s loss of $15,000 for its free service.
“I did it for free,” he said, “but I didn’t want to lose money.”
The city and Starkville Recycling cooperate under a contract that mandates a monthly report of measured recyclables delivered by the Sanitation Department.
“We’ve collected a total of $14,121.9 tons, which has saved the city $331,864.65 in tipping fees,” he said.
But city officials say they have no proof or official documentation of those figures.
According to a letter to Shurden from Sharon Boyd, environmental and sanitation department head, the recyclables were to be weighed at Southwire while Shurden was ordering parts.
“According to Mr. Calvin Ware, Lead Foreman of the Sanitation Department, you informed him on August 31, 2010 that the Starkville Recycling scales were too old to repair and that Southwire would not be the location to weigh recyclables from the City,” the letter stated, explaining that if the city does not have up-to-date and adequate information about the recyclables within 30 days, Shurden would be in breach of contract.
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the grant process that helped fund the city’s first year of free curbside recycling requires that information.
“In the event that he decides to sever his contract with the city, then my recommendation will be to issue a request for proposals to allow all in the recyclable market to submit proposals for participating in the city’s curbside recycling program,” he said.
“I hope to continue our relationship with Mr. Shurden, however, if he finds that relationship is no longer in his best interest, then the city will have to proceed with other options.”
One thing is for certain, he emphasized: The city will continue the program.
“There are many reasons the city has to have accurate and up-to-date information regarding the weight of recyclables from the city that Starkville Recycling processes, not the least of which is to ensure the integrity of our recycling program is protected,” he said.
“When the citizens of Starkville put green bags out on the curb, they do so trusting that those materials will be processed through our recycling program.”
Additionally, the sanitation department is exploring the option of collecting garbage and recyclables each once a week, rather than collecting garbage twice and recyclables once a week.
As the city’s littering, landscaping and sanitation services begin to start operating under the recently approved department of environmental and sanitation services, residents will see their collection fees increase by $2.50.
Officials could not say whether or not the curbside recycling program would continue free as it operated over the last year.
“But the city’s curbside recycling program is here to stay,” Wiseman reiterated.