County pulls curbside recycling back from the brink

By Byron Higgin
County Correspondent

The Lyon County Board on Tuesday approved a one-month contract with Southwest Sanitation to continue curbside recycling.

After hearing the public indicate they wanted to continue curbside recycling at a public hearing Monday night, Commissioner Charlie Sanow made the motion to negotiate for curbside pickup with Southwest Sanitation.

Essentially, the board bought itself a one-month extension until a final agreement can be worked out.

Environmental Director Roger Schroeder will work with Southwest Sanitation for the curbside pickup, including apartment pickup on a bi-weekly basis.

When asked how often curbside would be held, Commissioner Sanow said, “I wouldn’t mind doing it weekly, but we can start bi-weekly.”

“It appears Southwest Sanitation has the most favorable proposal for curbside service.”

“Regarding the curbside, we need to get going on it. I feel comfortable with it,” said Schroeder.

“There were several people last night who were adamant about wanting the curbside service. We still have the drop-off sites,” Schroeder said.

Board considers assessment increase

Responding to the public at Monday night’s hearing, Commission Chairman Gary Crowley said, “We know we’re going to have to raise our assessments.”

Sanow said we need a consensus of, “Where we will go. Probably a minimum of $20 more (per parcel in the county),” he said.

Commissioner Paul Graupmann indicated the county will need more short-term money for recycling.

“We don’t want to go overboard,” he said.

The public hearing Monday seemed to indicate residents were in favor of a raise in assessments to keep curbside recycling operating.

“What we heard last night is we need to raise it,” said Commissioner Rick Anderson, who added that he was comfortable with a $20 increase per parcel.

“We don’t have to make that decision today,” said Crowley.

“I just want to make sure, as we move forward, we have enough,” said Sanow.

“We need curbside pickup — if we don’t, we go backwards,” Gayle Whiting of Tracy said at Monday’s public hearing.

She painted a verbal picture of elderly residents slipping and sliding on ice trying to take their recycling to roll-up sites.

“In Tracy we’ve worked really hard” to make recycling work, said Whiting.

Roll-off sites will continue

Lyon County will continue to use roll-offs as well and will haul the recycling to Redwood County.

Anderson was concerned all dumpsters at pickup-sites are compatible with the Lyon County system.

“Not all containers are designed the same,” said Schroeder. “The ones we use were designed for the hook-on service. We could make it compatible with other designs so other sites can use our recycling containers.”

“If we need to be more people-friendly, I think we need to make the containers people friendly as well,” said Anderson.

Commissioners Crowley and Steve Ritter both cited conflict of interest with the recycling process and did not vote on the proposals.

In other action, the board:

• Approved a tobacco license for the Balaton One-Stop, which is in the process of being sold to BC & RJ Inc. A new license was needed. It was named Benson’s By The Lake.