MOUNT HOLLY – The city of Mount Holly is set for its recycling-vendor switch, bringing with it a slight fee increase for residents.
Starting Monday, July 1, residents’ aluminum cans, plastic bottles and junk mail will be picked up by Waste Pro, the city said in a news release. The Longwood, Fla.-based company operates in nine states in the Southeast, and it has offices in Concord and now Mount Holly’s Kendrick Industrial Park.
The new vendor won’t bring any changes to the city’s recycling schedule or its collection of garbage, yard waste or bulk items.
The switch from the last vendor, Republic Services, to Waste Pro will come with a fee increase to $5.34 a month per customer from $5.25. The fee had been $3 before the last hike in July 2018, following the agreement to a one-off year with Republic after the previous four-year contract that prematurely ended in June of that year.
“The recycling industry is very volatile right now because China, the country that takes recycling from the United States, has greatly reduced its intake of recyclable material,” City Manager Danny Jackson wrote in the city’s May newsletter. “I want you all to know that the circumstances with the recycling industry are beyond our control, but we have to react to them in a way that achieves the greater good of providing services to our citizens in the best and most economical way under the law.”
State law prevents taking recyclable materials to landfills.
The city put out bids for a new vendor in February and received them from Waste Pro and Republic, which said they could do the job for $4.16 and $8, respectively, per month, per customer.
Waste Pro’s rate — coupled with the city’s in-house costs — brings the monthly fee to $5.34, the city said, though it is exploring the possibility of a decrease to $5.
The City Council approved Waste Pro’s contract at its March 11 meeting. Along with the fee, considerations for approval included experience with similar services, office administration experience, ability to meet schedules, qualifications and abilities of key individuals, and references, the city said.
The contract is for five years, with extensions available in two-year increments. The company also has contracts with Belmont, Concord, Davidson and Harrisburg, among others in the Charlotte area.
Since being approved, the company’s trucks could be seen driving around Mount Holly as the drivers acclimated themselves with their routes.
The Better Business Bureau has accredited Waste Pro since 2015 and gives it an A-plus rating. But it has also attracted a slew of negative reviews on the BBB website, with customers noting collections not being done as scheduled and the company being inaccessible to address problems.
Accepted items in Mount Holly recycling bins are newspapers and their inserts, magazines, catalogs, phone books, junk mail and envelopes, cardboard and boxboard, office and school paper, paper grocery bags, rinsed-out aluminum cans, tin and steel cans, glass jars and bottles, plastic milk jugs, and plastic bottles with necks.
Some of the items that can’t be recycled via the bins are plastic bags, plastic or waxy milk cartons, food waste, food-tainted items, pizza boxes, juice boxes, egg cartons, aluminum foil, aerosol cans, and plastic cups and utensils.
Those with questions can call Mount Holly’s Streets and Solid Waste Department at 704-827-9726. The recycling schedule can be found on the city’s website.