Council OKs recycling program

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Craig likely will offer its residents a recycling program by May, but it won't come free.

Council members agreed Tuesday night to add a $31,000 expenditure to the solid waste fund to start the program. That amount pulls the reserve in the solid waste fund down to about 10 percent. City officials strive to maintain a 25 percent reserve in all funds.

They plan to eat that expense for 2005, but residents likely will see a larger increase than originally expected on the trash bills.

City officials are discussing how much of a rate increase is needed to make up for an increase in landfill fees. That likely will be combined with discussions about paying for a recycling program.

"We'll be taking that into consideration when we evaluate rates," City Manager Jim Ferree said.

Randy Call, director of the Road and Bridge Department, said his numbers need to be refined more, something he'll work on during the winter. His budget includes installing asphalt and concrete at the site near the north Yampa Avenue water loading station, with his crews doing the work. It also includes paying $6,000 each for three Dumpsters, one each for plastics and aluminum, cardboard and paper.

There also is $7,000 budgeted for a surveillance system to ensure people aren't using the Dumpsters for anything other than their labeled uses.

"I just hope it works," Councilor Don Jones said. "I foresee big problems. I see garbage and tires and appliances being left there."

Mayor Dave DeRose hopes the camera system prevents that, and Councilor Tom Gilchrist said the city could "nail violators to the wall," to send the message that illegal dumping won't be tolerated.

Despite the potential problems, most council members see the program as a benefit.

"Outside of a recreation center, the request I hear the most is for recycling," Gilchrist said.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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