MOUNT HOLLY – Mount Holly residents are the latest to be affected by changes in the region’s recycling services.
There will be an increase in the recycling fee reflected on the residents’ next water bill due to changes in the recycling market, a press release from the city states. During their regular July meeting, city council members approved that the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Fee Schedule be adjusted to $5.25 per customer per month from $3.
Mount Holly’s Streets and Solid Waste Department has been taking its recycling materials to the Republic Services facility in Charlotte, assistant town manager Miles Braswell said. The city entered into a contract with ReCommunity Holdings, which Republic since acquired, in January 2015 that was supposed to last until January 2019 to receive the city’s collections.
According to the city, Republic told the city in June that it would would cease the contract on July 11 and not extend it, citing changes in the recycling market.
When asked about changes in the region’s services, Republic sent the following statement: “We see the recent challenges in the recycling industry as an opportunity to bring simple solutions to our customers to preserve local recycling programs and to ensure these programs are durable and sustainable for the future.”
Republic is just one of several service providers available to pick up and/or dispose of municipalities’ recyclable materials. Those companies bid to take on the contracts, something Mount Holly sought prior to its deal that just ended with Republic, when it found the lowest cost was comparable to that of what the city could provide itself.
“The one factor that we can control more than cost is the quality of service,” the city’s website states. “Our quality of service, care and dedication to Mount Holly residents is unmatched.”
The new agreement between Republic Services and the City of Mount Holly is being negotiated – there has been no interruption of the city’s service – and is expected to be for a one-year period. City staff made a recommendation to city council that recycling operations be rebid to vendors/service providers during the one-year timeframe.
Other nearby municipalities have experienced changes in their waste services. The City of Lincolnton had to halt its curbside pickup in June after Sonoco Recycling, a Gastonia recycling facility, had to stop taking the materials it received, including from the city, to the materials recovery facility in Mecklenburg County.
Lincolnton residents now have to dispose of their recyclables at drive-up convenience sites located throughout Lincoln County. Gaston County also has these type of facilities, including a recycling center at 146 Mountain Island Road.
And in Cornelius, the town has had to issue close to $70,000 in fines to Republic over the last two years. The reasons include certain areas not being picked up on the correct day and hydraulic fluid spills.