City still considering the future of recycling
May 13, 2021
After taking a month to consider the future of recycling in the City of Sundance, Public Works Director Mac Erickson does not yet feel he’s ready to make the right decision. What to do about glass has now been included in the overall question of whether to continue providing curbside pickups or ask residents to bring their recyclables to the transfer station instead.
Erickson told the council that there’s been “quite a bit of interest” from the public so far in expressing their opinion of what should happen. Most people who have shared their thoughts at City Hall want to keep the recycling program active, he said, but those same people have indicated they would be willing to take their recycling to the transfer station.
Mayor Paul Brooks commented that he has received more calls about glass recycling than anything else, so he would like to see the dumpsters that are specifically for glass remain in town. Erickson explained that they were first put out three or four years ago when the city still had its construction and debris pit open and was saving money hauling trash by burying the glass.
Now that the new construction and debris pit is open, “We still are able to bury it, but it’s basically a free service for the bars and residents,” he pointed out. While Erickson said he is not against keeping those dumpsters out, he felt the council should be aware of this fact.
It’s too expensive to haul it to the Rapid City glass facility, Erickson said. The city collects around 1.5 tons per week and the cost to bury the glass is $70 per ton.
In addition, glass can only be recycled without its caps and lids, but these turn up regularly in the dumpsters. Other glass items such as light bulbs and windows also turn up, Erickson said, and a facility will not accept a container of recyclables that contains more than 10% foreign objects.
While it would be possible to bill the bars for additional trash receptacles to cover the cost of getting rid of glass, Brooks said, “I’m not keen on that policy.” He also pointed out that a “huge amount of the public” makes use of the dumpsters.
Erickson stated that he feels he needs more time to gather information in order to make the right decision. The council decided to place the matter on the agenda next month to have a formal conversation, while listening for comments in the meantime.