Lewis County Scraps Plan To Charge For Recycling

Lewis County Scraps Plan To Charge For Recycling

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Lewis County officials have scrapped an idea to charge a small fee to county residents for their recyclables.

County officials met Thursday afternoon with officials from the Development Authority of The North County, DANC. After the meeting, county manager Ryan Piche said the county is abandoning the idea of charging for recycled items, which would have been the first such charge in the north country.

The Development Authority plans to offer Lewis County an additional $5 a ton for recyclables - DANC already gives the county $5 for each ton, and would double the amount, according to a spokeswoman for the Development Authority.  (The extra money is in DANC's new budget, which must still be approved by the Development Authority's board.)

Lewis County enacted "single stream" recycling in 2016, in which recycled plastics, paper, glass don't have to be sorted. Since then, the amount of material county residents recycle has gone up by 40-50 percent, according to county officials.

The increase in recyclables is obviously good for the environment, but led to the county paying more to deal with the material. To partly offset that cost, county officials were talking about charging a small fee for recycled items.

However, Piche said Thursday that DANC "brought to the table some ideas for efficiencies," as well as some new programs the county and DANC can run together.  The county is still considering an increase in the $79 a ton fee it charges to trash haulers who bring garbage to the county transfer stations in Lowville and Croghan. 

Any increase would be "down the road," Piche said. 

DANC is also prepared to offer Lewis County additional financial incentives for increased recycling, according to the DANC spokeswoman. Plus, the Development Authority will pay for a "waste audit," to figure out whether more items now being tossed out as trash could be recycled.

  

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