Recycling at heart of County Commission meeting

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 08:24 AM

Whether or not to move to a single-stream method of recycling will be at the heart of the Rutherford County Commission meeting Monday.

Commissioners will determine whether the county should move from its current multi-stream method of recycling to a co-mingled, single-stream format after it hears the second half of a county-wide recycling report.

"We have source separation where you can take your recycling around to different containers," said Carl Classen, Rutherford County manager. "The other type is single stream recycling."

During its meeting in February, the commission heard a report regarding what the county and different municipalities generate in recycling materials.

According to that report, between the county and towns, there was 1,784 tons of recyclables brought in from residents. Most of that came from outlying areas of Rutherford County where 1,370 tons were tallied. Forest City had 214 tons recycled and Rutherfordton had 106 tons.

In all, 68 percent of recycling collection came from out in the county. The report stated that an average of 315 pounds of recyclables were collected from homes outside municipalities.

By comparison, the county and towns spent over $679,000 on recycling during the last fiscal year. In the last fiscal year, Rutherford County spent over $183,000 on recycling between salaries, fuel costs and contracts.

Rutherfordton and Spindale do not have contracts for recycling, but the report indicated that other municipalities do.

"I think this really opens our eyes as to where we need to be," said James Kilgo, Rutherford County Solid Waste director. "We are behind on recycling."

On Monday, commissioners will discuss the potential cost savings of a single-stream recycling program.

Single-stream, or co-mingled, recycling is a system where all recyclables are mixed in collection as opposed to being sorted by those depositing the items.

In addition to discussing a potential move to single-stream recycling, commissioners will also consider using a building constructed by Foothills Connect at 514 Laurel Hill Road. The building was constructed as part of a grant to work with vermiculture composting.

County officials said their initial intent with the building will be to store recycling trucks and allow container storage for the county and municipalities.