The El Reno City Council has unanimously approved a “Voluntary Recycling Program” for the OEMA to run a new curbside recycling service that would entail city utility customers paying an additional $5 a month for an extra bin to put out recyclable items.
This program would not actually get underway until a minimum of 500 customers (suckers?) sign up for it, promising to pay the monthly fee in addition to their regular trash service cost.
Currently, the only recycling in the city is on Saturday morning from 9 to Noon, and you have to take the items to the recycling location. But there is no charge. According to (low-level) city employees I spoke to, this free service may be ended if the for-pay service is activated.
I am very skeptical about this. It sounds like a scam that OEMA has come up with to increase their profits. Obviously, they are going to collect and sort the items, and sell them. They will thus make money on both ends. Nice work if you can get it, it seems to me.
Most recycling programs include some up front costs to the municipality, I would guess. I would also think that there are some variety in how recycling programs are paid for, whether the city pays a contractor, or a contractor pays the city for the opportunity to collect items they can sell for a profit. I have no problem with some kind of business arrangement that makes sense for the entities involved.
But this seems beyond reasonable to me. If this is as scurrilous as it sounds, is the El Reno City Council a bunch of innocent dupes, are they aware of what’s going on, or are they also getting something out of it? Who’s contributing to their re-election campaigns?
I know I’m jumping to conclusions here, but I’ve never heard of this kind of set up for recycling. I wasn’t able to attend the council meeting where this was discussed. I need to go down and get a transcript to see if any substantive questions were asked by those making the decision.
The bottom line on recycling is that it SAVES the government money, not to mention the savings and other benefits to the citizenry and environment, involving land use, health, quality of life, etc.
If anyone has heard of anything like this, or has any insight, please let me know. I plan to go to the city council and/or OEMA, and write to the local paper to voice my impression and concerns, but want to have as much info as possible.