City Gives Republic Services a Break
SAN ANGELO, TX — After months of no comment, the San Angelo City Council emerged from a long executive session Tuesday with a motion to authorize City Manager Daniel Valenzuela to negotiate a change to the curbside recycling program.
City officials and representatives from Republic met last week to hammer out differences. This City intends to allow Republic to eliminate mixed paper—newspapers, magazines, junk mail, and catalogs—from the curbside recycling program. There is no market for that.
The plastics accepted for recycling will be restricted to only #1 and #2 plastics.
#1 plastics are made of Polyethylene Terephthalate. Common #1 plastics include:
- Microwavable food trays
- Bottles for water, soft drinks, juice, sports drinks, mouthwash, ketchup, beer and salad dressings
- Food jars, such as peanut butter, jelly, jam and pickles
#2 plastics are High Density Polyethylene. The tougher plastic can be found in:
- Milk jugs
- Shopping bags
- Bottles for shampoo, household cleaners, and dish and laundry detergent
- Water and soda bottles
- Cereal box liners
- Shipping containers
City Attorney Theresa James said the framework for the agreement provides a roadmap to continue the curbside recycling program without a price increase to residents.
The City was mum on what to do about the curbside-recycling program for months after Republic Services addressed City Council in August to request a reprieve from the curbside recycling. The cost for handling the recyclables increased to $150 per ton, more than triple the cost in 2014 when the trash collection contract was inked.
As Republic officials grimaced at the delay, Mayor Brenda Gunter ordered a series of public town hall meetings where City officials learned their residents liked the curbside-recycling program in place and did not want a change.
Not discussed in open session were measures Republic or the City will take to decrease the contamination rate of recyclable material collected curbside. Republic said 20-30 percent of items placed in the green recyclable cans is contaminated. What possible enforcement mechanism will Valenzuela permit to reduce that rate?
City staff discussed possible solutions with Republic Services about 10 days ago and developed a roadmap of options. The next step is for Valenzuela to return to council with an amended agreement with Republic for Council approval.