Recycling costs too high; city requests solutions

Recycling costs too high; city requests solutions

BROOKLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - Trying to be green in a business world sometimes doesn’t add up and this is the reality one Craighead County city tries to fix.

The city of Brookland has tried multiple ways to recycle.

First, the city placed a recycling wagon with individual containers downtown.

Citizens didn’t throw their recyclables into the wagon, so they implemented a different receptacle.

Now, the Blue Bag program works to offer curbside services to pick up recyclables. A trailer also sits at city hall for citizens to bring their bags in as often as they please.

The trailer gets hauled off twice weekly and curbside runs three days a week.

“When you finally sit down and crunch the numbers, we were spending a little over $20,000 a year to get a $5,000 return in what we get,” Mayor Kenneth Jones said.

The $5,000 comes from a grant through the Department of Environmental Quality.

The money it costs to recycle adds up from hourly wages to get the recyclables, vehicle maintenance and gasoline.

With the loss of money at the forefront of the city council’s mind, they look for ways to minimize this loss.

Mayor Jones said he’d challenged the council to brainstorm ideas to save money before the next council meeting on Nov. 7.

He said he’s willing to hear any ideas from citizens in Brookland, too.

“It’s something that we’re not going to stop, but we’ve got to figure out a way to do it better. There’s a lot of ideas that I think are out there that maybe we can’t think of. If anyone can think of an idea that will help this situation out, we’ll be able to look at it and listen to it,” he said.

While less than 10 percent of Brookland utilizes the Blue Bag program, Mayor Jones said he wants to find a solution instead of getting rid of the program.

If you’d like to suggest budget-friendly options for the recycling program, you can contact city hall at (870) 935-0538 or click here.

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