The Warren County Commissioners discussed a request from the Pleasant Township supervisors regarding fees associated with recycling bins at the township building during their work session Monday.
"The time and effort Pleasant Township uses to maintain, and the expense of having the recycling bins emptied, has become costly to the taxpayers of Pleasant Township," Pleasant Township Secretary-Treasurer Lea Ann Adams wrote in a letter to the commissioners. "The supervisors made an unsuccessful attempt to have neighboring townships with no recycling drop-off site make a donation toward the cost of have the bins emptied."
The Pleasant Township supervisors considered removing the recycling bins last November after household garbage, satellite dishes and televisions were left on site and effectively doubled the cost of the program.
"The main problem is it's an expense to the township and with the people abusing it like that, I have to send a man out to clean the mess out," Supervisor Arden Knapp said in November.
"Also, it was discovered neighboring township residents are using the facilities, which was determined through a random check of visitors to verify addresses. During a random check, it was noted that a commercial business located in the City of Warren was using Pleasant Township as a drop-off site," Adams said in the letter. "The Pleasant Township residents are very appreciative of a recycling site in their neighborhood; however, with the cost of it being a drop-off site for neighboring township residents has not helped Pleasant Township's budget, since we are required to pay half the cost of having the bins emptied. The supervisors understand that the county picks up the other half, but when this program first started it was no cost to Pleasant Township. The supervisors are requesting a review of the fees associated with emptying the bins and to see if another fair alternative can be reached."
"I guess the question I have is this letter says the supervisors understand the county picks up the other half of the cost, but I don't recall that we do," Commissioner John Eggleston said. "The Solid Waste Authority may have at some point chipped in money, but they don't have any more money..."
"I think that what we have to ask ourselves first of all is the mechanism that is in place right now, that is with these dumpster collection sites and recycling stations, is that a mechanism that is needed today," Commissioner John Bortz said. "We have heard that perhaps already the pooling out of various recyclable materials is something which is happening within the processes that are being utilized by the garbage collectors wherever they may be. So, I think we need to get a handle on that. If that's the case, then do we or do we not need to actively engage in a recycling program?"
"Well, I think that's something we need to find out, updating our solid waste program, we need to do over the next year," Eggleston said.
Eggleston said the solid waste plan proceeded the commissioners' term in office and they haven't had any direct involvement in the recycling programs in the county.
Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said items left in the bins from outside the township "puts an unfair burden on the one that are trying to do this."
"I would say what we would like people to do is to let their township supervisors know how they feel about this, if they want recycling, if they want that to be available, if they do let their township supervisors know," Eggleston said. "We don't really know what the demand is. We know we want to prevent people from dumping their garbage out on these back roads, we don't want any illegal dumps around. I personally, speaking for myself, would like to provide people with the opportunity to recycle if they want to. But we need to know how people feel about it because it could have some impact on their taxes."