City garbage discussion shows recycling to be extra charge

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Would be less expensive if offered in package price

By Todd Martin

The Shelbyville City Council Thursday clarified another piece of its proposed curbside garbage and recycling ordinance during a discussion at its regular meeting.

Residents will have to pay an extra fee for recycling.

Council member Mike Zoeller brought up the question, regarding how the ordinance states that recycling would be offered but at an additional cost to the customer, much like house or backdoor service.

“I really, really, really thought that the ordinance we were working on would allow you to not participate in recycling and opt out all together, but that when we bid we’d bid with both services in mind,” he said.

Mayor Tom Hardesty and City Attorney Steve Gregory both noted that they didn’t understand the earlier conversations to be that way.

“If you want recycling, you can add it for an additional fee,” Hardesty said. “Then we can add that to the bill that will come from the water company.”

According to two garbage company representatives in attendance, the cost would be cheaper if the bid were to include recycling and trash pick-up together, instead of allowing customers the option. They noted that a higher percentage of participation will bring down the cost of recycling, but it doesn’t affect trash collection rates.

But that didn’t seem to sway the majority of the council.

Council member Donna Eaton said she preferred giving residents the choice on recycling, and council member Bob Andriot agreed.

“Even though it will cost us [the city residents] more, I like the optional recycling,” he said. “I don’t think we should ask them to pay for something they don’t want.”

The council will have the option to request bids that combine trash and recycling and ones that have recycling as an option.

The council took no action on the ordinance, and Hardesty said they would continue to discuss the different options.

However, if recycling were added to trash as the total service and not as an extra fee, the ordinance, as written, would need to be revised.

The commission also heard from Ralph Davis, a city resident who lives in Fairway Crossing, who said he pays only $11.25 per month, which includes recycling.

Davis said he doesn’t want the city to offer the service, even if it’s less expensive.

“I’m just not interested in the government telling us who can and who can’t go down the streets,” he said.

Hardesty said the public comments and council discussion would be used to decide what the city should do next.

“We’ll see what our next stop should be, – if we need another public hearing or if we should bring it to the council for a first reading,” he said.