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Commission talks trash
Company requirements could boost recycling
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth Central at South Forsyth

By: Jim Dean

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Forsyth County may consider measures to encourage recycling by private, curbside waste haulers.

Proposed changes to the solid waste ordinance could require the companies to offer recycling to their customers, said Tammy Wright, manager of environmental programs.

The county government does not provide trash pickup, so residents who want the service must contract with a private company.

A county-provided list of waste haulers shows that a majority of the companies do provide some form of recycling.

“We have some areas in the county currently where residents do not have [recycling] available to them,” Wright said. “The public has asked for certain services to be provided.

“The idea behind this is to make sure everyone has the basics offered to them.”

The proposed minimum materials list for recycling includes newspaper, glass, aluminum, cardboard and certain types of plastic containers.

Commissioners, who heard the proposal during a work session Tuesday, expressed some concern about requiring glass recycling. Wright was asked to research that issue further.

The commission also discussed a measure that could charge a quarterly fee to trash collectors based on tonnage of solid waste placed in a landfill.

“That also encourages those companies to truly recycle because they’re paying the fee based on what they’re taking to the landfill,” Wright said. “That encourages them to promote their recycling.”

The commission also considered offering deductions to Forsyth-based trash companies, which are contributing through taxes or host fees to use the local landfill.

Commissioner Patrick Bell said companies that operate entirely out of the county — except for trash pickup — can be a cost to the county.

“They’re coming in here, and rightfully so, doing business,” Bell said. “But they’re eating roads up with those heavy trucks, and we’re not gaining anything to help offset that initial cost.”

Another new requirement under consideration would be for companies to submit monthly figures on waste and recyclable materials collected.

Wright said those numbers are difficult to get from waste haulers, which impedes the planning process.

After getting more information, commissioners plan to review the possible ordinance changes again at a future work session.

The modifications would require two public hearings before a vote.