Changes coming to Silt recycling services |

Changes coming to Silt recycling services

Ryan Hoffman

SILT — Starting in July, residents will notice changes — in storage and cost — to their home recycling services, following split decisions by the Silt Board of Trustees to award a new contract and set a new trash fee.

The monthly fee increase from $19.20 to $22.15 per month that the board approved Monday will cover increased costs for the new contract, as well as steadily increasing costs incurred by the town for administrative duties. A senior discount will still be available.

However, the main disagreement among trustees regarded the change in services. Under the expiring contract with Waste Management, Inc., residents received one 96-gallon recycling tote for recyclables. The winning bid submitted by Mountain Roll-offs Inc. calls for two 18-gallon totes, one for paper and one for bottles and cans. Of the three bids submitted to the town, MRI’s was the lowest at $232,336 per year — Waste Management’s fell in the middle at $297,235 per year.

Mayor Pro-Tem Bryan Fleming, who was absent when the board awarded the contract to MRI in May, said Monday he was disheartened with the change. Seven or eight residents recently said they would rather pay more and keep the larger single tote, he said.

“They’ve told me they’re not going to recycle,” Fleming said Monday.

Trustees Aron Diaz and Keith Richel, citing similar reasons, joined Fleming in voting against the increase.

“I think the town is getting less value,” said Diaz, who did disclose that he previously worked for Waste Management.

About a dozen residents expressed similar sentiments and said they would be willing to pay a higher rate than the $22.15 per month approved Monday, Richel said in explaining why he voted against the fee increase.

Jeremy Frees, MRI representative, told trustees in May that MRI would be willing to work with residents on a case-by-case basis if the two 18-gallon totes were not enough. Stating that he has a family of five, Frees said he understands that some homes have more recycling volume than others, and MRI would do everything it could to meet residents’ needs.

In awarding the contract in May, trustees did vote to include a provision requiring MRI to provide more or larger containers on a case-by-case basis — a point that Mayor Rick Aluise reiterated Monday. Reached by phone Tuesday, Aluise said he has not had any residents contact him with concerns, and with MRI agreeing to work with residents on a case-by-case basis, he said he was satisfied with the agreement.

There was a sense of urgency in awarding the contract, said Pamela Woods, town administrator and treasurer. If the existing contract expired without a new one in place residents would have been looking at a $30 per month fee, not including recycling, she said. The changes are set to take effect July 1.

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