Ahoskie Council approves recycling upgrade

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AHOSKIE – Despite objection from one Ahoskie Councilman, town officials here will proceed with an upgrade to an existing recycling program.

At last week’s council meeting, a motion was approved for Ahoskie to participate in the Recycle Roll-Out Cart Grant Program, one administered by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

While there are no costs incurred by the town or its residents during the initial three years of the grant program, newly seated Councilman Winfred Hardy cast the lone “no” vote in the measure that was approved by a 4-1 count.

Hardy said his reasoning behind voting against the measure was, “I didn’t want to see three years from now that the law has changed and we have to have this (program).”

The measure first came to the council’s attention at their December meeting. There, council members expressed an interest in the program, but directed Town Manager Tony Hammond to gain additional information and bring that back for presentation at their Jan. 12 meeting.

“The grant will pay all costs associated with the program for three years,” Hammond said at last week’s meeting. “There are no costs involved by the town during that three-year period. At the end of those three years, it’s up to you (council) if you want to continue the program.”

Hammond said he had discussed the program with GDS, a firm contracted by the town for garbage and recycling collection. GDS will accept the grant funds to offset their costs for supplying a 65-gallon roll-out cart to each residence currently with a GDS garbage roll-out can and collecting the recyclables placed at the curb on a weekly basis. If the town opts to continue that program after the three-year grant period, it will cost an additional $1.25 per month, per household.

“These roll-out carts are better than the hand-carried tubs now used by our residents for recyclables,” Hammond noted. “These carts make it more convenient for our residents to take their recycled items to the curb and I feel that it will help promote an effort to recycle.”

Councilman Malcolm Copeland agreed, saying, “Some of our residents cannot physically lift those recycling containers now in use. These roll-out carts will help.”

After the council confirmed that the state will pick-up the tab on the program for three years, thus not costing the town’s residents, Copeland was joined by Elaine Myers, Maurice Vann and O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. in voting to approve the grant program with Hardy casting the dissenting vote.