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Commishes to discuss recycling on Feb. 26

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Bandera County Commissioners are working in overdrive to save the county's recycling programs. On or about March 1, it may be a thing of the past unless commissioners come up with a viable solution.
On that date, Republic Services will serve as the county's new provider for its four solid waste compactor stations, but that company does not offer recycling.
After consulting with recycling gurus in Utopia, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Rutherford presented his findings in an informational session on Thursday, Feb. 12.
As he reported, the award-winning recycling program in Utopia in Uvalde County is making "a little bit of money." At an earlier session of commissioners court, County Judge Richard Evans had explained, "Garbage collection is $30,000 in the black, but recycling is $40,000 to the bad."
Rutherford supported Precinct 2 Commission Bobby Harris' previous observation that recycling is a volatile market with payment differing on a month-to-month basis.
"Recyclables are commodities and the prices rise and fall according to the price of commodities," Harris had explained.
A "cooperative team" of recycling volunteers in Utopia, which also includes Vanderpool, clean and sort the items brought in. The recyclables are shipped out truckloads at a time by contracting with Waste Management. According to Harris, Waste Management had cornered the market by buying up all the recycling companies during the last four to five years.
"Utopia contracts with Waste Management for the flatbed trucks which means they don't have to pay for transportation," Rutherford said.
"Do they have a centralized location for recycling?" asked Precinct 1 Commissioner Bob Grimes. Rutherford answered in the affirmative.
A central recycling location to make the process more efficient for Bandera County had been discussed during a meeting in January.
Additionally, Rutherford said the recycling in Utopia doesn't include glass, Styrofoam or metal. He promised to put recycling on the agenda for the Thursday, Feb. 26, meeting of commissioners court.
"We have to make a decision soon because recycling might be discontinued on March 1," Evans observed.