Hancock County Rural Recycling Overages From Waste Management Don’t Add Up

Hancock County Questions Huge Increase…

Gets Little Answers…

                              Lots of ‘Garbage’

Hancock County is investigating the overage costs associated with Waste Management’s rural recycling. Hancock County’s rural recycling program consists of 4 drop off sites in Miller, Crystal Lake, Kanawha and Klemme. Miller and Klemme bins are emptied once a week, while Crystal Lake and Kanawha bins are on-call, each averaging one dump every other week. According to Hancock County Supervisor Gary Rayhons, the monthly recycling charges over the last few months puts the county on track to spend roughly $15,000 to $20,000 more than what’s been budgeted.

Jason Nieson of Waste Management was present at the meeting Tuesday to discuss the billing discrepancies. According to Nieson, there were more loads from May thru July than normal.

Due to Covid-19, Waste Management has seen a vast increase in not only recycling, but garbage dumped in the recycling bins, causing some public entities to discontinue the program, thus this could be the reason for the increase in pick-ups at the rural drop-sites.

Hancock County’s huge increase begs the question whether non-rural county residents are now utilizing the recycling bins but not paying for it, which means that could put the entire program in jeopardy with the county’s rural taxpayers who are footing the bill.

In addition, the question arose as to not just the increase in the number of pulls, but the increase of charges accredited to each pull. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors agreed in 2019 to a 3% increase, but not to an increase equating to more like 25 percent.

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors anticipate to hear back from Waste Management yet this week with a confirmation on the overages.

To help make room for more recyclable items at these rural drop-sites, people are encouraged to break down cardboard boxes and dump cans and bottles loosely inside the bin instead of leaving them inside a plastic bag, as that utilizes more space. Also, remember don’t put electronics, plastic bags, dirty food containers, or anything construed as garbage, inside the recycling bins.

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