Recycling should be encouraged and promoted within our county. It is vital to our community to conserve resources and protect our environment. However, money is also a vital resource that we need to conserve as well.
Woodford County’s Recycling Department provides curb-side pickup for the majority of residents, as well as the City of Versailles and Midway, including more than 200 businesses, schools and factories. Employing 18 full-time staff and utilizing a number of Class D inmates from the Woodford County Detention Center, the center processes approximately 1,200 tons per year. Materials recycled include newspaper, paper bags, junk mail, certain types of plastic, aluminum and steel food and drink cans, plastic bottles and phonebooks. In addition, the center takes tree limbs and brush, motor oil, appliances, batteries, antifreeze and anything metal or steel. The Recycling Center does not take glass.
Over the last three years, the cost of recycling for Woodford County has averaged $659,000 each year, almost $2 million since July 2008. This fiscal year, the annual budget for this department is expected to exceed $1 million.
The purpose of this report is not to cut services to our community, but rather to provide a solution that creates a more effective recycling program, better service to the community while saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having visited neighboring recycling centers, I am convinced we pay too much for this service and are not maximizing our potential. I estimate conservatively that we can save Woodford County $250,000 each year by changing the way we offer recycling. Recycling is intended to eliminate waste and promote the conservation of our resources—let’s begin with taxpayers’ dollars.