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Curbside recycling may get dumped in Shepherdstown

August 14, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Because Shepherdstown is losing around $1,350 a month from its sanitation budget, due mainly to the high costs associated with recycling, officials are considering whether to halt curbside pickup in favor of a drop-off system.

If town officials decide to switch to a drop-off system, residents who want to recycle would drop off their items at bins, which would be placed by the sewage plant on Princess Street, said Councilman Ray Eshelman, who also is on the Public Works Committee.

Town council members listened to Eshelman's suggestions at their meeting Tuesday night, but did not take any action. Eshelman said a public hearing should be held to discuss the idea.

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To offset the costs incurred by curbside pickup, Eshelman said the town has three choices: Raise garbage bills 20 percent to 25 percent, eliminate recycling, or use the drop-off system. He said he favors the latter.

"I think if we do that, we could probably solve the budget problem," Eshelman said after the meeting.

About 30 percent of the town's residents recycle, Eshelman said. Because the town pays Waste Management $6.60 a month for each of the 161 green recycling crates town households use, he said the town would be losing even more money if more people recycled. Waste Management picks up plastic, glass, metal and paper items, but not cardboard.

Recyclable materials are picked up outside of downtown homes once a week.

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