Today’s Killeen City Council debate over citywide, mandatory curbside recycling will begin with a new financial analysis.
The estimated $4.6 million program would overhaul the city’s solid waste collection services, if adopted by the City Council.
According to a June poll of 500 Daily Herald readers, more than 57 percent supported mandatory, citywide recycling.
“Many people want the service and, I think, recycling is good for the environment,” Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin said.
The city’s current, voluntary recycling program has low participation — just 3,550 of the city’s 46,000 households recycle.
Participants in the program are charged $2.48 per month to recycle, while those who do not recycle pay standard solid waste rates.
A citywide program, if adopted, would not affect the ad valorem tax rate, City Manager Glenn Morrison said.
The costs of implementing the program — purchasing recycling trucks, carts and hiring personnel — would be paid through hikes in residential trash bills.
At the last presentation June 4, city staff estimated a $2.50 increase in residential trash bills to pay for the program.
Residents who divert recyclable material from their trash could save money by using a smaller trash can, which comes at a lower rate.
Recycling also could save residents money in the future because of the scarcity for space at the Temple Landfill, where Killeen and cities from seven counties in Texas, dump their trash.
Hauling Killeen’s trash to another dump site could be costly, Corbin said.
With many variables, Corbin said he was not sure how citywide mandatory recycling would affect the trash rates in the long run.
“Some costs go up while other costs go down,” Corbin said. “There are many factors we have to consider. I don’t think it is going to be an easy decision.”
In other matters, the council is expected to discuss a consent agreement with Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2 and action on a lawsuit filed against the city by former finance director Barbara Gonzales.
Both items are expected to be discussed in closed session.
If you go
The Killeen City Council workshop will be at 5 p.m. today at the Killeen Utility Collections Building, 210 W. Avenue C.