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Curbside recycling in Ashland gets little official support

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 10:55 PM

ASHLAND — The city of Ashland has no plans to start a curbside recycling program despite an online petition drive asking for the service.
Noelle Horsfield, an Ashland resident who lived in New England for about 10 years before moving back to the Tri-State two years ago, started the petition drive requesting curbside recycling.
“We need to encourage people to recycle more,” Horsfield said Tuesday. “There are people who care about recycling. In New England we paid a per bag fee for garbage, but nothing for recycling.”
Ashland residents pay $20 a month for garbage collection. The city pays for about 15 recycling containers at three locations: Oliverio Park off Winchester Avenue, near Ashland Community and Technical College and beneath the Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge at 12th Street, City Manger Steve Corbitt said.
“At Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, we recycle 35 percent of our total waste,” said Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles. “In some cities, recycling is mandatory. I’d love to do it, but the economics makes it tough to do.”
The city is reviewing the proposal, but he doesn’t anticipate a change.
The city had recycling bins at the Walmart parking lot, but corporate officials asked them to be removed about six months ago, Corbitt said.
Some people dumped trash and old appliances near the recycling containers, Charles said.
“Except for the abuse, the program was working,” he said.
The city pays Rumpke to collect the old newspapers, aluminum and plastics. “The program doesn’t make money. It costs money,” Charles said.
Several years ago, the city looked into starting a pilot recycling program with 1,000 homeowners at a cost of $4 per month. Only about 365 signed up, and the proposal was dropped, Corbitt said.
The city would have to hire more employees to have a curbside recycling program, he said.
“If it costs money, I’m not for it,” City Commissioner Kevin Gunderson said. “I’ve gotten zero calls and zero emails requesting curbside recycling.”
It could cost residents about $5 per month for such a program, Corbitt said.
“With the economy the way it is, people don’t want to pay more,” Gunderson said.
More than 150 people have signed the petition thus far. The petition is located at www.change.org and then search for City of Ashland Kentucky, Department of Public Works: Begin Curbside Recycling in Ashland Kentucky.
“In order to move both the city and the people of Ashland towards a healthier, more progressive community, it is essential to take actions that will bring us up to date with the rest of the county,” Horsfield said in the petition. “The creation of a curbside recycling program is a small but vital step in the right direction.”
“We need to find ways to reuse rather than discard the trash,” Keith Frazier of Ashland said about the proposal.

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