New recycling plan to be presented to the municipal council, citizens concerned about change

QUINCY (WGEM) – A new recycling plan will be presented to Quincy City Council next week. It offers big changes that could affect how you dispose of plastic, cardboard and newspaper.

Stephanie Murphy has been recycling for about 10 years using Quincy’s weekly curbside pickup program.

“It’s pretty handy. My husband and I work a lot of overtime,” Murphy said. “So that looks good.”

Don Blickhan said it was worth the $5 a month he spends to have the service.

“It’s a reasonable cost and it helps keep our city beautiful,” Blickhan said. “If they weren’t picking up, you would see a lot more litter on our streets and sidewalks. People would just abandon their stuff.

But they worry about what would happen if the city stopped curbside pickups and moved to collection sites.

“Definitely not! I won’t recycle again,” Jerry Bowen said. He doesn’t have a car and doesn’t drive. “I can’t recycle if they do that kind of crap because I can’t go. “

For all sorts of reasons, these three residents said they would like to keep the program as it is, but that comes with too high a price tag, according to Quincy Director of Public Works Jeffrey Conte.

“Selective collection was an expensive business. And we’ve seen recycling drop significantly from when it was offered to residents, at no cost to them,” Conte said.

Conte said the city wants to continue the program.

“But we have to be… diligent with how we spend our taxes and right now we don’t think we’re getting value for our money,” Conte said. “We think it’s going to be cheaper for the city, but at the same time it’s also going to increase the amount of recycling that happens. So there will be additional revenue for the city. Because we will be able to sell more recyclable materials.

He said the Central Services Committee believes the best value for money would be to have a contractor fully maintain large 40 cubic meter bins resembling dumpsters placed around the city. This means he would monitor when they were full, transport the bins and replace them with new ones.

“The current plan is to offer the service free to residents,” Conte said. “So the city would bear the cost of the recycling program as part of a fee that would already be collected or taxes would be paid to the city.”

He said they are still working with local businesses to secure the location of the three collection sites in the north, south and east sides of the city.

“Until there are final agreements we are not going to release the names, but they are in what I would call high traffic areas,” Conte said.

“I can probably still make it work. Because I think it’s important, but I think it will have a negative impact on the environment overall because I think a lot of people wouldn’t,” Murphy said.

Like Bowen said he couldn’t.

“I like him the way he is. If they’re going to change things, it’s going to get worse,” Bowen said.

Conte said they were working with private providers for an option that would serve residents who want to retain curbside service. But he said it’s too early to tell if that will happen. This will be between the carrier and the resident.

“City wouldn’t have part of that contract,” Conte said. “But we have tried to encourage local sellers to offer this service”

He is due before City Council aldermen on Monday, August 29 for three ordinance readings over the next three weeks, before they can vote on what will happen to the city’s recycling program.

If they decide to go ahead with the collection sites option, Conte hopes to have it up and running by March 1, 2023.

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