Town Council accepts $42,500 recycling can grant

Jul. 04, 2013 @ 05:30 AM

The Rutherfordton Town Council discussed and unanimously accepted the contract with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for a recycling can grant totaling $42,500, on Wednesday night during the regular town meeting.

As the town plans on increasing the efficiency of recycling collection, it intends to convert from the 18-gallon bins currently used to new 95-gallon roll-out cans similar to those used for garbage collection.

The town had applied for the grant to help fund nearly 1,700 95-gallon roll-out recycling cans.

Each new roll-out bin costs about $50 and the DENR grant would pay up to $25 per bin, or roughly half of the estimated cost of the project.

"Other towns have implemented these bins and it's been very successful," said Public Works Director Keith Ward, during one of the town's budget workshop meetings. "We will see recycling growth in our town, and it will save us money in the long run."

Rutherford County will begin accepting co-mingled recycling in August.

Council members and town staff discussed at length the proposed purchase of recycling roll-out cans for co-mingled recycling during last month's budget workshop meetings.

Due to budget constraints in the 2013-14 fiscal year, council members decided to delay the purchase of the new roll-out cans.

Council members therefore proposed starting the town's co-mingling program using the current bins and gauging the county's implementation of the program before purchasing any new roll-out bins.

According to Finance Director Rus Scherer, if the town accepts the grant, it will be able to roll over to the 2014-15 fiscal year for purchasing the new bins.

"Accepting this grant keeps the door open for us and locks the funds in for the town for 12 months, and potentially six more months should we ask for an extension," Scherer said.

Prior to Wednesday evening's meeting, Rob Taylor with the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach for DENR had advised town staff to accept the grant.

"By accepting this grant the town is not binding itself into anything," said Town Manager Karen Andrews. "We have been advised that there are no negative repercussions if the town doesn't use the grant at this time."

The grant term is July 15, 2013 through July 14, 2014 and according to Taylor, if during that period the town is unable to purchase the bins or chooses to further delay the purchase, a six-month extension of the grant may be requested.

"Accepting this grant is good for our town," said Mayor Jimmy Dancy. "If we were to pass on the grant, somewhere down the road this funding may not be available when we do decide to purchase the new cans."