Polk Recycling Program Review Coming Friday

County commissioners are planning to hold a work session at 10 a.m. Friday in the commission chambers to talk about changes in the international recycling markets that Waste and Recycling Director Ana Wood contends led to her recommendation to make major changes in the curbside recycling program when the new contract began Oct. 1.

The meeting is open to the public and will be televised on PGTV.

Although Wood briefed commissioners on some of this last year when the contracts were being prepared, questions remain.

The Polk County Commission continues to get hammered from residents about the changes in the curbside recycling program.

They no longer accept any glass.

They only accept some plastic and have not been totally clear about the details.

They accept paper and cardboard, but not all paper and cardboard, though that’s not something you can find out unless you ask.

They may accept old recycling bins, but haven’t been eager to publicize that fact.

They weren’t going to provide recycling carts to customers who for a variety of reasons didn’t return the mail-in post cards until Jan. 1, but relented after enough people complained.

In other words, it has been a public relations fiasco.

Friday’s tentative program will include presentations by Wood, representatives from the private sector and someone who is being billed as an authority on the plastics market, which reportedly has been affected by relatively cheap oil prices and quality control issues.

Meanwhile, the private waste companies reportedly are attempting to proposed legislation that would stop cities and counties from requiring recycling of materials for which there is no market—glass is at the top of the list– and allow private haulers to send loads of recyclables that contain too much contamination to the landfill instead of the recycling center.

There are questions about the details of how all of this will work, but if the legislation passes—slightly different legislation died last year– as proposed, it could send a tidal wave of changes through curbside recycling programs statewide.

Posted in Group Conservation Issues.