by Richard Uhlhorn
In November of 2017 an adhoc committee worked with Chris Bell Associates to study Chelan’s current recycling program under an interlocal agreement with Chelan County and Entiat. The City has been helping to finance, operate and supervise the North Chelan County Recycling Project since 1998.
Based on the study, Chris Bell Associates recommended in November that the City move towards a curbside recycling program which means that the City will no longer operate the drop-off recycling center at 50 Chelan Falls Highway. The County is also looking at a volunteer curbside recycling program. The City passed a motion on December 18 to begin the formation of a curbside recycling program.
Once the City of Chelan’s mandatory curbside recycling program gets underway sometime in April, these recycling bins will be removed.
City Administrator Mike Jackson told the Council that while the program has been successful, the value of commodities has dropped. The City has been spending $253,000 to fund the recycle project and will use those funds to offset the estimated annual cost of the new curbside recycling program.
Jackson said that glass and paper have no value. “Tons of bailed paper is going into landfills,” said Jackson. Last year the recycling center had $85,000 in revenues. “The equipment is aging and the County is moving to a volunteer curbside program,” Jackson said. “We have moved to mandatory curbside recycling.”
The City’s Recycling Program
is changing to curbside
Jackson said Chris Bell Associates was coming back to Council before implementation of the plan and suggested that the Council authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute the Notice of Termination of the current Interlocal agreement with the County.
Mayor Mike Cooney said, “We have been losing money. We don’t have a time and we want to be good neighbors. We are not springing things on people.”
On Thursday, Brenda Blanchfield of the County’s Solid Waste Department said the UTC has selected Zippy as the franchised hauler of recycled material in the Chelan area. “The County will have a volunteer curbside recycling program,” said Blanchfield.
That means that Zippy is working on a program to deliver a recycling container to those individuals outside the City limits who want to continue to recycle at some price point.
The cancellation policy of the interlocal agreement is 90 days. The City hopes to roll out its mandatory recycling program by Earth Day in April.
The City Council unanimously moved to authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute the Notice of Termination between the City and County.
The County replied to the City with a letter from County Engineer Eric Pierson, who hoped that the City will “entertain coordinating/contracting with Zippy to help reduce the burden of the cost to haul recycling materials to Spokane for both the City and County in hopes of minimizing the impacts of the transition to the new program.