In an effort to become a ‘zero-waste’ city, the Lincoln City City Council is exploring some different programs for recycling and composting.
At the Nov. 4 special City Council meeting, the City Council heard a pitch from North Lincoln Sanitary on a new recycling and composting program for Lincoln City residents.
“The program is for every residential customer to have a 96-gallon recycle container, and a 96-gallon compostable, if it grows it goes as our motto, container and they would be picked up every other week, opposite weeks,” North Lincoln Sanitary President Tina French said.
The alternating weeks would be labeled a green week for recycling and a yellow week for composting, according to French. This program would also give every customer in Lincoln City three separate bins: a garbage bin, recycle bin and a compost bin.
“If you’re a customer of ours, you’re going to get one of these bins and you’re going to pay the monthly fee,” French said. “Now, if you call us and tell us to come pick it up, we will but you’re still going to pay the monthly fee.”
City Manager Ron Chandler said the cost for curbside composting would run $6.85 per month. French detailed the program's subscription pricing that would cost between $25 and $30 per customer, which covers the cost of the bins, pickup, etc.
French said personally, she would vouch for an across the board percentage increase for both residential and commercial customers that would be less expensive for residential customers.
“If our average garbage bill is $20 a month and we do an average across the board 10 percent rate increase, that means the average residential customer is going to see around $2 a month for this program,” French said. “The average commercial customer is going to pay around $12 to $14 a month for this program.”
The City Council also discussed the notion of not deliver compost bins to commercial customers because it would increase the cost exponentially due to contamination.
“What we send to recycle facilities and our compost facilities has to be clean, because if it’s not, then the whole thing is garbage and you send it across the street to the landfill,” French said.
However, French stated that if commercial businesses were able to work with North Lincoln Sanitary, they would explore a pilot program to test the waters.
“I’m not going to name any businesses now, but I can think of some businesses that I know would be really diligent about making sure this is clean,” French said. “I can also think of other businesses that this would be a nightmare if we offered them composting containers.”
The City Council discussed several other topics regarding reducing waste, but will need more time to mull over their thoughts on whether they will be going forward with any of these ideas. However, several City Councilors are in favor of adding more composting and recycling containers throughout the city.
“I think it’s important for the city to set the example first,” Councilor Riley Hoagland said. “I’d like to see more composting and recycling containers where there’s eating and especially at city events.”