By Andrew Swift
Editor’s Note: Mayor Andrew Swift’s column in January’s print issue of the Riverview Register was inadvertently missing some critical information due to space constraints. The article below contains the information highlighted.
Happy New Year and I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and were able to enjoy time with family and friends over the holiday.
Well it’s time to get back to work and I’d like to start by informing you where Riverview stands on our pursuit of a quality, financially responsible recycling program. Early last year we formed a committee of interested residents to put together a survey. This survey was to help us determine the interest of a subscription curbside recycling program in our community. City wide curbside recycling wasn’t considered as an option because of the extremely high cost that would be a burden to a large portion of our residents.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘂𝗽 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝟲 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗹. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻’𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝟭𝟯% 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝟯𝟬%.
Riverview mailed out 3,800 surveys and 964 were returned while we had 207 responses online for a total of 1,171. It was a lot of work but the committee did take the time to tally up the results and they are as follows. Question 1: Are You Currently Recycling? No 44.3% and Yes 55.7%. Question 2: How Often Are You Recycling? Weekly 11.7%, Bi-Weekly 13.9%, Monthly 20.2%, and Don’t Recycle 54.2%. Question 3: Are You Aware Riverview has a Recycling Center? Yes 74.9% and No 25.1%. Question 4: Would You Recycle at the Center if the Center had more convenient hours? Yes 62.5% and No 37.5%. Question 5: What do you recycle most? Plastic 32.6%, Paper/Cardboard 30.3%, Glass 20%, and Metal 17.1%. Question 6: If Riverview instituted a subscription curd-side recycling program, what is the maximum you’d be willing to pay per month for a bi-weekly pickup? 36.1% indicated an amount, 40.8% simply said “No”, while 23.1% left the answer blank. So we can interpret this as 63.9% aren’t willing to pay anything for the service. Of those who responded with an amount, less than $10.00 per month was the runaway favorite.
What are we to glean from the results? Nearly ¾ of those who responded are aware that Riverview has a Recycling Center at the Land Preserve. And more than ½ of those who responded participate in recycling at the center at least once a month. The commodity most recycled is plastic and cardboard/paper. And unfortunately most of those who would participate in curb-side pickup aren’t willing to pay for it.
𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐬𝐤, (𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐛-𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐮𝐩? 𝐖𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥.) 𝐖𝐞𝐥𝐥, 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐚𝐲. 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐲𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥. Riverview would have to pay to send them away to a recycling center. The current rate for mixed commodities is around $90.00 a ton that we would have to pay. Compare that to what we get for municipal waste of around $20.00 a ton. And there are penalties up to $150 ton for a dirty load of recyclables. A dirty load is described as one that contains more than 10% contaminated goods, for example a greasy pizza boxes. Actually, one of the many benefits we get from the landfill is that funds from the landfill (not your taxes) pay for our residential waste pickup at the tune of around $300,000.00 a year.
About mid last year China changed the requirements on the recyclable material that they accept and that has thrown recycling efforts in the United States into chaos. We all know recycling is the responsible thing to do for our environment, but at what cost.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗻 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗯-𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁. 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗯𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗯-𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗽𝗶𝗰𝗸𝘂𝗽 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺. 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁
We are still working with officials from Trenton on the possibility of building a much more resident friendly recycling center at our land preserve. The recycling center would be separated from the normal landfill traffic. It would be a cost-shared project that would benefit both municipalities and be fiscally responsible. With it being separate from the landfill, there would be more convenient hours for the residents of both communities to drop off their recyclables. Before any decisions are made, our landfill committee will evaluate all options and make a recommendation to the city council.