City to take over recycling collection

By Sarah Pridgeon

Sundance will continue its recycling program, but make changes to how the program works. A council decision last week will see the city take over curbside collection as a cost-saving measure.

Public Works Director Mac Erickson presented the Sundance City Council with three options for the future of recycling last week and asked for recommendations to move forward.

The first option, he said, would be to invest in containers, rear dump carts and the compactor at the landfill and then contract hauling out to a commercial entity while the city takes over collection of curbside recycling.

The second would be to continue as things are but save around $1700 a month by collecting the residential recycling internally. Western Waste would continue to collect the commercial waste and transport it to Rapid City.

The third option, Erickson said, would be a complete restructure that removed household recycling from the program.

“I think we have to keep commercial recycling as we’re going to generate too much cardboard,” he said, but are enough recyclables being put out that it’s worth the cost?

When the recycling program first began, Erickson said, there was a huge decrease in the amount of trash that was making its way to the transfer station, but that advantage has slowly declined. Those who love to recycle still do so, but many others do not.

Mayor Paul Brooks noted that changes to the program over the years have not helped and left many people confused as to what could and could not be placed in the blue bins.

“I think, whatever we do, we need to come up with a fairly firm [plan]” and not change it again, he said.

The council opted to invest in containers and bid out commercial collection, leaving the city to operate curbside collection. Erickson stated that the cost will be around $12,000 for containers, which he believes can be found in the budget.

“In six months, we’d have it back,” he added.

A motion was made to this effect, contingent on Erickson putting the program together successfully. We’ve talked about this enough, said Brooks; the city is ready to make a move.