FARR WEST -- Despite a survey of residents that reflected less than 10 percent oppose recycling in the city, the city council has voted against authorizing a recycling program.
The vote was unanimous.
Mayor Jimmie Papageorge said in spite of the vote, the recycling program is not a dead issue and will be revisited.
"There were 210 (survey) responses that were opposed (to recycling)," said Papageorge, "We needed 338 to not have it."
Councilman Lee Dickemore said he was concerned about the cost for residents and pointed out the cost of sewer service would go up at least $3 per month in June.
"I don't know how this, on top of that, would set," said Dickemore. "We don't have control of that $3 from the sewer, do we?" He said he was worried about the added cost of recycling, especially for those on a fixed income.
"A lot of people in this community would like an answer," said City Clerk Andrea Zweifel. "I'm the one that answers the phone."
Dickemore said perhaps the city should make a decision about the recycling program when they know for sure how much the sewer cost will increase for residents.
"I don't think this has anything to do with the sewer," said Papageorge. He said the newsletter that went out with the survey said only if more than 25 percent of residents were against the recycling would the city not have a recycling program.
Dickemore asked if those who wanted to opt out of a recycling program could do so. Papageorge explained if a recycling program were approved, no one could opt out of the cost.
After the council unanimously voted against a resolution authorizing a recycling program, Councilwoman Ava Painter said she had made the motion to approve the program so it would not be hanging over the council's heads.
"If we do deny it, we will revisit it again," said Painter.
In a later interview, Councilman Tim Shupe said he believes a recycling program would be a good thing for the city and would help everyone with a savings in tipping fees. He said unloading trash costs $35-$36 a ton, and the money saved if residents were willing to recycle could be used for such things as road improvements, snow removal and parks and recreation.