SHERIDAN — The solid waste division for the city of Sheridan completed its curbside recycling evaluation and recycling opinion survey in 2012-2013 and has determined that this fiscal year may be a prime time to begin a curbside recycling program in Sheridan.
“Our intent today was to show City Council that we are probably in the best position that we’ve ever been in in order to offer curbside recycling,” Solid Waste Superintendent Charles Martineau said following Wednesday’s budget work session devoted to the solid waste division and Sheridan Recreation District.
Martineau said the solid waste division currently has the funds to pay for the needed infrastructure. The division will purchase a second bailer and remodel the recycling center to accommodate it. A small sorting center will also be added to the center since all recycled material will be “co-mingled,” or mixed together, when it arrives at the center.
The bailer will cost $120,000, and the sorting system will cost $185,000.
If the curbside recycling program is approved by Council, the city would get rid of the community drop sites, Martineau said. Each resident would receive a curbside recycling container similar to the wheeled garbage bins currently in use.
Utilities Manager Dan Roberts said monthly garbage rates would be increased by up to $3.50 if the curbside recycling program is implemented. Of those who participated in the recent recycling opinion survey, 88 percent said an increase of $3.50 would be acceptable.
Martineau included the curbside recycling program in his budget presentation to show Council members it was financially feasible. A future work session is planned to further discuss the recycling program. City Council must approve the curbside recycling program before renovations begin.
The landfill disposed of 28,587 tons of municipal solid waste in fiscal year 2013, which is one of the lowest figures in the last 10 years.
Martineau credits the drop to the landfill’s diversion programs that prevent scrap metal, poly pipe, concrete and asphalt, pallets and clean lumber, construction and demolition waste, and recyclable and compostable materials from being buried in the landfill.
In the last year, 21,209 tons — 42 percent of the waste received — were diverted through grinding operations, recycling and composting.
The solid waste division has proposed total expenses of $7,519,745 for fiscal year 2014, if the curbside recycling program is approved.
This is $3.28 million more than last year, but much of the expenditures would be paid for with reserve funds and increased revenue due to the recycling program. Projected revenue for the year, with the increased fees for recycling, are $7,589,510, leaving the solid waste division with nearly $70,000 to place in reserves.