CENTERVILLE — Not wanting to guess wrong and have to raise it later, Centerville officials decided to leave themselves some wiggle room in deciding the per-can cost for their proposed curbside recycling program.
The Centerville City Council recently decided that the cost per can would be $3.50, though that number would likely drop if only a small percentage of households (around 10 to 12 percent) choose to opt out of the program.
If more households drop out, the city would subsidize any cost past the already established $3.50, and if more than 25 percent choose not to take part then the city would not move ahead with the program.
“I think we should be transparent and open with our citizens,” said Centerville City Mayor Ronald Russell. “They know that recycling is the right thing to do.”
The city has also set a window of time allowing residents to choose to opt out of the program. From April 20 to May 27, residents will be able to either get an opt-out form from city hall or print it out from the city website and mail or bring it in to the city offices. This information will be posted on the city’s website, www.centervilleut.net, along with the opt-out sheet and other recycling-related forms.
The city will also be sending this information to its residents via a direct mailer that is expected to arrive before April 20.
“We’re trying to limit the number of people who can say they didn’t know about it,” said Centerville City Council member Ken Averett. “It will lessen the potential conflicts with staff.”
Though the possibility of allowing the opt-out forms (or other recycling requests) to be done online or through e-mail, that idea was vetoed due to the natural insecurity of the Internet.
“I love computers, but they can be unreliable,” said Centerville City Financial Director Blaine Lutz, who also works with the city’s technology committee. “If something is somewhat binding, we don’t really want it to be done electronically.”
Though the city plans to have their final participation count for the curbside program by the end of May, actual pick-up isn’t likely to begin until the first of August or even later (the specific start date will depend on how early ACE Disposal is ready).
Before that time the city will have also renegotiated their disposal contract with ACE. Though the final numbers may be subject to change, the disposal company has already informed the city that costs for the first can will jump from $10.66 to $10.91, and costs for the second can will jump from $7.61 to at least $8.19.
As part of this, Centerville will allow residents to turn in their second cans once the recycling program begins, and are also considering allowing use of second cans for only part of the year and offering used second cans at a reduced initial price.