A firm hired to develop a solid waste master plan for Killeen is still working out the details of the document, but it presented the goals and objectives identified in the plan to the City Council during its Tuesday workshop meeting.
The council hired SCS Engineers in March to develop a master plan and rate model for $140,000.
The decision to hire the consulting firm came after a February consensus by the council in which the body agreed to allow City Manager Glenn Morrison to enter into contract negotiations with Balcones Resources for a proposed mandatory citywide single-stream recycling program.
The initiative would allow residents to put recyclables into one container rather than separating them before placing them curbside, as the existing voluntary curbside system requires.
Upon hiring SCS Engineers in March, Morrison said the plan would guide the city and give the council “better information” in regard to rolling out a mandatory or voluntary recycling program.
Jeff Arrington, a SCS Engineers representative, said the firm completed a “pretty extensive data-gathering phase” and is still wrapping up an evaluation of the city’s current system and moving into developing a rate study.
“One of the key aspects (of the plan) is to develop some broad goals that (the city) can achieve over a time frame that is reasonable,” he said. “Our first goal is for the city to continue providing the services it has and achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.”
Perhaps the most lucrative part of the study is a recycling initiative.
Arrington said because the city doesn’t have a landfill and waste has to be processed and transferred to other areas, one goal is to establish a process that would increase the city’s diversion rate.
“(The firm is) looking at minimizing how much you have to process through the transfer station,” he said. “That will allow the city to avoid those costs and achieve some higher recycling (participation).”
Arrington said the firm is looking at “a number of ways” to achieve that, one being single-stream recycling.
He said the firm already has evaluated the city’s original single-stream proposal, which was presented to the council earlier this year and included a potentially mandatory system and an increase in garbage can size — the city currently allows residents to choose one of three can sizes.
Arrington said the firm also is evaluating the city’s current voluntary curbside system and how participation in the program could be increased. He said incentives also are being considered in the development of the plan.
“We are looking at all the ways (the city) can enhance the current system and develop (plans) that would allow the city to make some decisions,” he said.
Councilman Jonathan Okray said he would still like to see recycling options go before the voters.
“I don’t think seven people should make that decision,” he said.
Arrington said a rate model should be ready to be presented to the council sometime next month with the plan to follow afterward.
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555