Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 19:01
Without town, officials unwilling to foot full bill for recycling event
Instead of dealing with unwanted issues like checking IDs and charging residents, Village of Belgium officials decided to scrap a fall e-cycling event scheduled for October.
Last year, the village and town of Belgium held two electronics recycling drives, one in the spring and another one in fall.
The company that provided service for the event didn’t charge for the fall 2013 event.
This year, the Town of Belgium budgeted for one e-cycling event, which it held with the village in spring.
Faced with being on the hook for the entire cost, and likely only allowing village residents to participate, officials decided earlier this month to cancel the October event.
“I would rather do it once a year and not charge our residents than do it twice and charge them for it,” Trustee Vickie Boehnlein said.
In the past, residents were allowed to recycle items like computer monitors, LCD screens and CRT televisions for free.
Veolia, the company that handled last year’s events, informed the village that it would charge 25 cents per pound for those items this year.
The company suggested charging residents $7 for monitors 19 inches or smaller, $12 for monitors larger than 19 inches and $25 for TVs.
The village has about $1,500 in its budget for e-cycling and would have been charged $750 by Veolia just to host the event.
“Last year, we did one event in the spring with the town and didn’t intend to do a second one,” Boehnlein said. “(Town Clerk) Ginger (Murphy) arranged something for us where the second one was free.
“That wouldn’t be the case this year.”
Boehnlein said she didn’t want to cause any “bad will” by asking to see identifications from all participants and turning away Town of Belgium residents, but she also doesn’t want to take taxpayers money and allow town residents to recycle electronics for free.
“The town has viewed it as a positive and I think they will do it again in the spring,” Boehnlein said. “I think most people can save their stuff until the spring.”
Village President Rich Howells believes the village should have a fall event, saying, “We have a good thing going here.”
The Village Board also approved reducing the hours at the recycling center.
Instead of being open until 7:30 p.m., the center will close at 5 p.m. through Nov. 17.
“It’s getting darker earlier and there’s no way to keep it open until 7:30 any more,” Director of Public Works Danny Birenbaum said.