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Brunswick Council split on curbside recycling

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BRUNSWICK — The city’s Director of Public Service Paul Barnett is set to explore options to bring curbside recycling to Brunswick, but many City Council members said they are not ready to dump the current way residents get rid of their waste.

Council members approved Monday with a split vote a motion to allow Barnett to start negotiating with companies that would help Brunswick start a formal recycling program. But with a 4-3 vote, with Council members Joe Salzgeber, Ward 3; Anthony Capretta, Ward 4, and Joe Delsanter, at-large, voting against the motion, it is clear there is not unanimous support.

“I walked my ward; I spoke to my residents,” Capretta said Thursday. “I mean, I went through the entire ward, all the precincts and I kept a tally of everything … and these people said, ‘We do not want it, end of story.”

Monday night, Barnett explained the options available to Brunswick in regard to a future sanitation program. They include:

  •  Option 1: Leaving trash collection the same. Currently, Brunswick has a more traditional collection system with residents using their own garbage cans or bags. When the garbage truck makes a weekly pass through neighborhoods, a sanitation worker manually puts the garbage into the truck.
  •  Option 2: Provide residents with one 64-gallon recycling cart and remain with the current manual system trash collection.
  •  Option 3: Provide residents with one 96-gallon trash cart and a 64-gallon recycling cart and move to an automated collection system.
  •  Option 4: Provide residents with just one 96-gallon trash cart and not offer the option to separate waste for recycling.

There was about 30 minutes of conversation about the options, with many Council members leaning toward option three or option four. The final motion gave Barnett permission to pursue option three.

Adding curbside recycling will come at a cost.

Residents currently pay about $52.93 per quarter for trash collection. The rate could increase to $59.10 per quarter with the addition of curbside recycling.

The cost for the trash and recycling carts and a final monthly price to residents will be determined in the new service contract.

The city’s current sanitation contract with Republic Services ends July 2019.

Capretta said that many people in the area, particularly older residents, are opposed to the change because of the size of the carts and their ability to move them.

“A lot of people don’t have room in their little one-car garages to put this big

96-gallon tub and secondly, they don’t feel comfortable, it’s too big for them,” Capretta said.

He also said that many of his residents only take out a small amount of trash each week and that they don’t have a need for such a big trash bins.

Salzgeber voted against option three and said he is more in favor of option four.

“Option three is about $9 a quarter more … and it requires residents to separate their trash, whereas option four is the exact same price we have now,” he said. “There’s no increase in price, which many people on fixed income were concerned about, and you won’t have to separate your trash.”

Salzegeber said he took the options to Facebook and in a post he shared the differences between option three and option four.

In his post, he also asked residents in his ward for their opinions.

“Most of the people who responded favored option four … anyone who still wants to recycle can go to the existing bins across the city.”

The Medina County Solid Waste District has a program for the combined recycling of plastic jugs and bottles, metals, cartons, paper and cardboard and glass. Drop points are set up throughout Brunswick at all city offices and schools.

Delsanter was unable to be reached for a comment Thursday.

During Monday’s meeting, he echoed Salzgeber comments about older residents being unable to move the carts and the lack of space to store them.

Barnett is expected to return to Council within a month with more information so the city can request bids from service providers.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at (330) 721-4063 or aalfano@medina-gazette.com


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