It’s Time to Recycle Benton
As many of you know I have been trying for over 2 years to bring a Recycle Benton program through the City Council. The task has been very time consuming and somewhat frustrating at times. However, with the current price increases on everyone’s trash bill added as fuel surcharges and the continuance of people misusing our commercial dumpsters by dumping their residential trash without permission and even now with the trashing of our Recycling Collection Bins, I believe it is time to readdress this issue. Some citizens in isolated places are currently being abandoned by haulers that cannot justify picking up a few customers in that area. Holiday pick up was actually abandoned in several subdivisions and that entire week trash set on curbs. Automated arm trucks are leaving behind excess garbage and causing spillage.
Here is an overview of the proposed legislation that would bring Curbside Recycling to Benton.
1) Mandate that all citizens must have trash collection service
2) Zone the city into 4 or 5 sanitation zones that would each be serviced by one of the current trash collection companies. Standards of service and operations would be in force. This would reduce the cost of services by reducing the mileage travelled to service customer.
3) Bill all services on our utility bill. This will reduce cost of services from company because of collection losses being reduced.
4) City receives franchise payments from subcontracted services. Increases revenues to use to collect recyclables.
5) Establish Sanitation Collection Department that handles consumer complaints, establishing customer services, and manages Recycling Program.
6) Contract with non-profit organization for Recycling collections and distribution of collected products.
This is a proposal for a win-win-win for everyone involved. The current haulers have a guaranteed customer base and income with less overhead expenses. The citizens will get quality services at a reduced cost and additional recycling services at no additional cost. A group or groups of non-profit organizations will benefit with an employment program. And the city of Benton will benefit toward becoming a real “Green Community”.
It is TIME TO RECYCLE BENTON!!
I can be reached at 317-6297 or e-mail me at [email protected]. A grass roots organization is being formed at this time to try to bring recycling to Benton. Your help is needed.
Respectfully, Alderman Greg White
Replies to This Discussion
—–Bud Lidzy on June 16, 2008 at 3:10pm
Greg, have the waste companies weighed in on your plan? What are their thoughts or concsrns. Ar they set up and willing to do recyclables?
—–Greg White on June 17, 2008 at 1:39am
The waste companies are not involved with the recycling part of my plan. That service would be provided by the city. The reason the city would offer that service is because we qualify for grants that would offset the costs of collection. Also, some companies can offer that service, but would only be interested in a total contract for the city. The companies that offer such services would have to provide all bins, collection services, and dispensing of recyclables at their expense. The cost of those services would raise the cost of total sanitation collection to all the citizens. My plan actually reduces the overall cost to the citizens and would provide a revenue stream for the General Fund or Utilities that could actually reduce other costs of services or utility rates. This plan has proven itself in Garland County. Parks projects have been funded to the tune of over 3 million dollars over the last 10 years and the cost of sanitation and recycling services have remained around $12 per customer.
—–Shelli Poole on June 16, 2008 at 3:15pm
Anyone who has been talking about recycling should post a short thought here and contact Greg. It might be better to email him, so he will have an easy written list of who is interested and your contact info. (For those of you who didn’t know, he’s a Benton City Council member.)
I was in my aunt’s Conway home this weekend, and she had two rubber cans in her kitchen. I had to stop a second to process it in my mind. It was paper, cans and glass in one bin. When I think of how many things go in my trash that I could be recycling, I could have two smaller cans as opposed to one large. If you’re serious about recycling, let your city know.
—–Butterfly Life on June 16, 2008 at 5:52pm
I know this isnt exactly where you were going with this but wanted to share a website I came across- there is a Saline County group- www.freecycle.org
—–Stacie on June 17, 2008 at 9:41am
I will be closing on a home in Benton on July 3rd (so I am not there yet) but I am VERY interested in recycling. I feel guilty every time I throw something plastic into the garbage, but for now I don’t have many options. Please let me know what I can do to help.
—–J.T. on June 17, 2008 at 12:06pm
I know my wife and I are down with it. We are tired off driving to War Memorial on Saturdays not to mention fuel costs and emissions. Kinda defeats the purpose of recycling when we are driving that far. When is the next City Council meeting? Can we voice our opinion in person?
—–Chris Eaton on June 17, 2008 at 5:39pm
I applaud the effort but I am not willing to fork over ANY more money to utilities. IMOHO they are taking enough of it already (and it is not being distributed to the rest of the city). Many city employees qualify for government assistance (myself included) and quite a few have left, or are thinking of leaving (or being forced to leave) for better paying jobs. With the current economy only looking to get worse, recycling is not high on my priority list. We are in survival mode at the moment.
If you are going to implement recycling pickup make it OPT IN so that I can OPT OUT. I think you would be disappointed at the number of people that will choose to pay more, however if you force it on them I imagine your adoption rate will be an overwhelming success.
Also, I don’t understand why if I bag up cans and take them to the recycler they pay me for them, but if I try to give them away for free at the curb I have to pay money? To me it seems like a brilliant scheme on the part of the waste management company.
I would also point out that a large percentage of the population of Benton does not have trash service. They pile up their trash in the yard and burn it in piles until they are forced to haul it to a commercial location with an unlocked dumpster that is convenient for them. These people are not going to recycle.
Take care }8^D
—–Walter J. James on June 17, 2008 at 5:50pm
A sad reality is that a lot of Saline County residents view our roadways and ditches as recycling centers
—–Greg White on June 17, 2008 at 6:18pm
My plan would actually reduce the cost of your current trash service. The recycling is obviously always an opt in, but the cost of your trash collection would include those services at a lower cost than what most people are currently paying for trash service alone! Also, if you did recycle, we might could even lower your cost by you reducing the amount of trash that you generate. Some cities use per bag charges for trash. For instance one bag per week may only cost $12 per month vs. a full 92 gallon bin @ $16 per month. This type of program helps people in financial distress and the elderly that are low volume generators.
Also, we would not disallow you to sell your aluminum cans. We would encourage this along with donating to the charities that currently are collecting cans.
Thank you for acknowledging that we are not making sure that all our citizens are being serviced. I am currently seeking some legislation that would mandate that all citizens are required to have a paid service, similiar to Bryant’s regulations.
—–Chris Eaton on June 18, 2008 at 4:41am
If I am understanding you correctly, by negotiating a new contract with recycling it would lower my bill. That sounds like a win/win.
—–Greg White on June 18, 2008 at 2:13pm
That is part of the whole picture!
—–Martha L. Wilson on June 30, 2008 at 4:49pm
I am all about recycling and think we need to do it. But if you charge by the amount, then you are not helping the financially distressed as you think. If they don’t have money to pay and have a large amount to send off like larger household items etc. What then? If one has no vehicle now, and can’t pay a fee to haul things, they go into the ditches etc. I have a neighbor who is running a junk business in his back yard. It is like living next to the City dump. He has piles of debris and junk pilled in many areas, hardly ever mows and I worry about snakes, and the other day a stray cat brought a large rat into my yard. I have no doubt where it came from. And those large water roaches are taking over again. I hate it. I reported it one time and my neighbor said the man who came to his home told him I was the one who reported him. I knew that was not true, or at least I hoped not, but he is back to the same mess and nothing is done. They bring in, tear apart and sell as much of the metal as they can, the rest is in their yard, right next to mine.
Will this mandatory thing clean up their act and my view and peace of mind?
—–Greg White on June 17, 2008 at 6:25pm
Mayor Holland informed Terry McKinney today that effective June 30, the city of Benton would no longer offer Recycling collection services.
This announcement came at a Civic and Government Affairs Committee meeting at the Benton Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Holland stated “You need to leave the dumpster at the Waste Management station when your guys take the last delivery on June 30. I do not have the manpower to continue this service.”
This seems a bit strange to me, since his opening public remarks in January in his vision for 2008 was that he looked for 2008 to be a year for the city to become a “Green City”.
The amount of time that it takes to deliver the dumpster to the facility is only about 45 minutes round trip. It only takes one person, since the Waste District uses a forklift to exchange the bins. Mr. Dennis Wills informed Mr. McKinney that if we relinquished the use of the dumpster that he would move that dumpster to Bryant since they had requested additional capacity space for their city’s Recycling efforts.
Please contact the Mayor’s Office and your Aldermen and let them know that this is unsatisfactory. We now are not only moving forward, but with this administration, we seem to be moving backward concerning protecting our beautiful city.
Mayor Rick Holland— 776-5905
Below is list of pertinent phone numbers & e-mails:
Benton City Council 2007-2008 Contact Information
Ward 1 Position 1 Honorable Larry Wolf
1718 Lynnwood Drive / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 1 Position 2 Honorable Greg White
1902 Robin wood Court / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 2 Position 1 Honorable Charles Cunningham
1315 Stewart / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 2 Position 2 Honorable Joe Lee Richards
1019 Banner Street / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 3 Position 1 Honorable Bill Donnor
702 Miller Cove / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 3 Position 2 Honorable Jerry Ponder
1314 River Oaks / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 4 Position 1 Honorable Brad Moore
305 Hidden Meadows Drive / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 4 Position 2 Honorable David Sparks
1606 Harmon Drive / Benton, AR. 72015
Ward 5 Position 1 Honorable Steve Lee
602 Nalley Street / Benton, AR.72015
Ward 5 Position 2 Honorable Doug Stracener
1124 Smithers Drive / Benton, AR. 72015
—–Martha L. Wilson on July 1, 2008 at 10:24am
I appreciate your concern, your ideas and your informatin. I emailed each one of the people listed and hope that everyone on here will do the same.
I am so dissapointed that the Mayor would take away our city’s growth towards a greener community.
—–Shelli Poole on June 18, 2008 at 9:36pm
Look out Rick! Here come the revenuers!!
—–Stacie on June 18, 2008 at 10:12pm
I say if there is nothing that is encouraging people to recycle by making it an easy choice for them then it IS broken.
—–Greg White on June 19, 2008 at 12:05am
The system is broken.
1) Highest average prices in Central Arkansas-Benton avg cost is now $26.25 per month
2) Least efficient collection system with highest average cost for fuel expense to hauler. Some haulers only have one or two customers per neighborhood
3) Only 82% of our residents are paying and recieving trash service
4) Haulers have an average of 10-12% non-collectable debt
5) Recycling and commercial dumpsters are being abused by residents dropping off their trash
6) Roads are being torn up by commercial vehicle traffic in residential neighborhoods
7) Trash being left on curb-sides that are not placed in bins
8) Holiday pick-up leaves trash on curbs for weeks
9) Customers no longer being serviced without notice as services abandon low volume neighborhoods
10) Price increases as much as 20%
Yep, we got the best service available in Benton AR!!
—–Greg White on June 19, 2008 at 1:33pm
No, actually my solution is less cost by making use of reducing the expenses that current haulers pay now in inefficiencies and by providing you the opportunity to turn your trash into something that is valuable in recycling. See, the problem with most people is that they are lazy when it comes to trash. Some people are even gluttonous trash generators. It is the American way, we have the freedom to just throw it away. In Benton we have he freedom to throw it away anywhere! This city has neglected its responsibility to make sure that its citizens are even removing there trash from there homes. Check out the pics. Well, for those of you that are interested in righting the ship and those of you that are tired of Benton looking trashy and those of you that would like the opportunity to Recycle, I am posting a meeting place and time very soon!
—–Greg White on June 20, 2008 at 1:06am
Below are your answers:
Questions #2-Getting More for Less , a 1999 EPA Document that is 45 pages long on how important zone collection systems are for manging sanitation and recycling programs
Question #3- Information provided by most independant haulers that answered my survey during one of our 3 meetings. This was a total customer base of those responding compared to the total number of households in the city limits
Question #4-See above
Question #5- we will soon be ticketing those that are guilty, Remember City hall has surveilance cameras!
Question #6- The idea is to eliminate duplication of services and reduce the amount of commercial vehicles on our residential streets. And yes, load limits will be reduced
Question #7- Right now we do not have any ordinance that can penalize a person that is attempting to have their trash picked up. The companies have changed their rules without customer notification. Again the city has no control over the companies policies.
Question #8- Eagle Point subdivision Memorial Day Weekend, and following week. All customers serviced by Allied were not serviced until the following week on their regular day. Therefore, trash set out from Thursday until Thursday, no service!!
Question #9- Don’t know all the specifics, but did receive calls from people around Cole Dr about when they would be serviced by BFI. Seems some Allied and BFI services had been brokered by a sanitation service in Bryant on the Benton/Bauxite line and the company that had bought out the contracts was unaware of the neighborhood area.
Hopefully, this answers your questions. If not, give me a call sometime! I have over 55 documents since I have started studying this over 6 years ago!
—–Kevin Russell on June 29, 2008 at 6:20pm
I’m on your side and I think it is time that we have some sort of recycling option in the city. My wife and I take our boxes and plastics to LR every other Saturday to the recycle bins at War Memorial Park. It’s a long way to drive and I wish we had something here where we could take everything and not just newspaper and cans.
The fact that the utilities department cannot afford to send anyone to dump the current bin is beyond me. They have the Largest reserve of money of any city department, but for some reason can’t dump it once a week? It takes an hour at most and it is something a lot of the citizens seem to use, including myself.
I wish you luck in your pursuit of finding a solution to this problem. Let me know if I can help in any way.
—–Greg White on June 30, 2008 at 11:07pm
Littering is not a result of the absence of a recycling program. Littering is the lack of a mandated requirement that all citizens should have a paid sanitation service provider. Since we don’t offer a city-wide program for trash collection, we actually have people in the city, and county, that dump trash on the side of the road or in commercial dumpsters and we do not have any ordinances to punish those people! That is why a city-wide sanitation controlled program is mandated by state statute: Arkansas Statute 8-6-211 section [a] stating, All municipalities shall provide a solid waste management system which will adequately provide for the collection and disposal of all solid wastes generated or existing within the incorporated limits of the municipality
—–Greg White on June 30, 2008 at 10:58pm
We are definitely on the same track. However, recycling on the city wide basis has access to state grant monies that are not available to commercial enterprise. So, a company like you are talking about would quickly consider Hot Springs, Searcy, or Conway over Benton, since those city already have successful city wide sanitation and recycling programs in place. Benton is at least 10- 15 years behind those cities on this issue.
When I was recycling coordinator, I started a white paper collection process in the public schools in Benton and Bryant. However, the current program has diminished because of lack of commitment at our Waste Management District offices. The state statutes point to the municipal governments for establishing sanitation systems and Benton has neglected that duty since the early seventies.
—–Heather Hardin on July 1, 2008 at 11:53am
I agree that our area needs recycling options, but it does not need to be just the city of Benton, all of Saline County needs to be included. I currently live in the county, but probably not for much longer with this battle over land by the cities. But back to the subject… nobody likes change so if we just start by having recycling days for paper, plastic, aluminum and glass every other Saturday at the fair grounds, or some other location that is more centralized, and as the program gets larger start doing curbside recycling. I haven’t obviously done any research but certainly either companies or grants could be found to completely fund this venture and split the proceeds from the money generated with the cities and county to go back into parks or to help improve the program. We need to have all of Saline GO GREEN.
—–Greg White on July 1, 2008 at 10:35pm
I encourage you all to call the Saline County Solid Waste Management district @ (501) 557-2665 and ask for Roger. He is the current Recycling Coordinator. Ask him how we could bring curbside recycling to our county!
—–Heather Hardin on July 2, 2008 at 1:39pm
Thanks for the info I will definitely be giving him a call.
—–Greg White on July 3, 2008 at 4:52pm
Calling all interested citizens:
Tuesday Night, July 8 7:00
Women’s Only @ Fitness Unlimited
We are looking to start a grass roots group that will actively help direct our City Leaders into searching for a solution to start curbside recycling in Benton.
The meeting will discuss petition drives and education processes that will be necessary to bring awareness to our desire for Benton to Become a “Green City”
I hope that many of you will make an effort to attend and help start this drive!!
It’s Time to Make Benton Green!!!
Keep Benton Beautiful
Here is a poster that you can copy and circulate!
—–Greg White on August 12, 2008 at 1:43am
OK! Here it is. The key that I knew was coming to open our opportunity to start recycling. With Fuel costs up and economics of hauling the whole city becoming more costly everyday, it seems that our County Judge is now weighing in some concern for considering the idea of zoning trash services. A certain independant hauler that has a tremendous customer base has called the Judges office with concerns of what is going down in the county. Seems that Allied released notices to citizens in Bauxite and areas close to Bauxite, that they will no longer be servicing that area. Speculation is they may pull out of the County. If so, the burden of service will be laid upon other carriers. Seems these carriers are not taking new customers out of their regular routes because of cost of service. Investment in dumpster carts has doubled in cost due to plastic cost.
You say: how does that affect starting a recycling program? Well, the key is to zone the haulers to reduce the cost of sanitation collection and to bill on our utility bill, again to reduce the cost of sanitation collection. With reduction in costs, even when you add the collection cost of recyclables, it will be lower than what you are paying now.
Finally, consider this: The price paid for recycled newspaper is $192 per ton. I have collected daily Couriers and a Sunday Democrat for years. Seems that I alone generate 38 pounds of newsprint per month, not counting junk mail and magazines. For kicks lets add 10 pounds for that estimate. So I alone generate 48 pounds per month. That is 576 pounds of newsprint a year. Now multiply that times 12,748 (number of Benton Utility Customers). That equals 7,341,696 pounds per year (residential only). That is 3670 tons times $192= $704,802 per year. Benton could subsidize our electric rates with that kind of dough! Heck, after a couple of years, we could see trash service for as little as $12 a month. Come on, we have got to get on board! No wonder other cities are building Parks, getting people to want to annex, and even seeing increases in employee pay without raising rates and taxes. People we can do this!
—–Doug Stracener on August 12, 2008 at 8:20am
It is my understanding that Mr. Beck with the Lutheran Church is about to launch their recycling program. Didn’t you agree to hold off on city action until we saw if their plan worked?
Interesting reading: http://www.americanrecycler.com/0606recovered.shtml#cover
—–Greg White on August 12, 2008 at 9:14am
It seems that his progress has been hindered with building permits, copper thefts, and even a dispute with a neighboring business concerning a gate across the Neely St. end of the road. I have started discussions with Dennis Wills @ SCRWMD and look forward to drawing support from the public. I believe that as a city we need to act upon this matter. Lanny Fite called me two weeks ago and asked if I would continue to move forward as he was going to start studying the issue on a county-wide basis. With his emphasis being on controlled hauling zones and mandated trash collection service in order to reduce illegal dumping and burning. His concerns have been fired up by several hauling companies approaching him about cost of service in a wide-spread area. The paper that is recycled at SCRWMD is sold to a company in Alabama that is converting it to cellulose insulation. I believe that this is one of the main benefits of recycling that not only uses a waste product and saves space in our landfill, but also helps us reduce our energy usage. Surely, you can support that idea!
—–Brad Moore on August 12, 2008 at 9:36am
Cellulose insulation is an excellent product.