City staff on Tuesday asked the Killeen City Council to authorize a contract with an engineering firm to execute a solid waste master plan, a move Mayor Dan Corbin said should clear up confusion about the city’s single-stream recycling system.
“We are struggling with a number of issues that we are going to decide on,” Corbin said at a workshop meeting. “Looking at the complexity, I assure you that everybody sitting here (the council) was very confused and didn’t have a good understanding on a whole lot of issues we are wrestling on how to make decisions.”
In January, the council was presented with a plan to implement citywide single-stream recycling, which will allow residents to put their recyclables in one can rather than separating them before placing them curbside like the current voluntary system.
During a February workshop meeting, the council reached a consensus to allow City Manager Glenn Morrison to enter into contract negotiations with Balcones Resources.
Scott Osburn, city public works director, said hiring SCS Engineers to develop a solid waste master plan and rate study is the next step in moving forward with the initiative.
Jeff Arrington, SCS project manager, said the master plan and rate study will address the city’s single-stream initiative, as well as evaluating its existing solid waste programs and developing options for diverting more waste out of the landfill.
He said the firm will look at collection impacts, various options for a single-stream program and develop a model for the council to use as a tool when deciding how it wants to implement the program.
Councilman Jose Segarra said he would like to see the rate study and master plan address an option to offer residents with incentives for recycling.
Kevin Yard, an SCS representative, said an incentive program likely won’t drive people to recycle on a mandatory basis
“I see a three-fold task to make it work, incentive, education, but then if it’s a matter of choice, you (the city) have that in place right now and you understand that the subscription rate is really quite low.”
Yard said education plays a large part in making a successful recycling program.
“Get the word out in such (a manner) that citizens understand there are not only benefits to them, but there are benefits to their community and to the environment.”
Yard said the council will get models of both a mandatory and a voluntary system to assess.
Councilman Terry Clark said he hopes SCS can help the council help residents better understand what the city is trying to do with its initiative.
“We need a good message; we want the people to believe in this,” he said. “This is a pocketbook issue for the citizens; it’s not a green issue.”
The council will vote on hiring the firm at its March 11 meeting.
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