Scott City, MO to stop recycling service

SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) - Leadership changes and financial troubles over the last year have new leaders in Scott City, Missouri exploring areas to save money, but some are trashing one of their latest ideas.

A recent post on the city's Facebook page says the current recycling program in town will stop June 11.

Local business owner Barbara Mason says she was a little surprised and "not happy" when she heard the news.

Mason has consistently been recycling cardboard and plastic clothes hangers she generates from her two businesses but says she will likely now have to throw it all in the trash.

"If that's what we've got to do, we've got to do it but it's not what I want to do," Mason said. "It's costly too in a way. It's going to take clerks time to do this. That means we're paying people to cut up boxes and stuff them into trash cans."

Inter-Rail Systems Inc., the local trash hauler, told City Administrator Doug Richards they could no longer take recycling because it's costing them money to sell the materials.

Richards says he is searching to find a different recycling service because their small city can't afford to start their own operation.

"You not only have to pay for the employees to do this, but you have to buy all of the equipment to go with it which includes sorters, compressors, balers," Richards said. "Those are thousands and thousands of dollars in equipment and there is no way that you can offset that. Period."

Jodi Lee has lived in Scott City her whole life and says she uses the recycling drop-off areas once a week.

Lee says her 9-year-old son also learned about the value of recycling in school, so she thinks not having it doesn't set a good example.

"I think the recycling program is important for the earth, for the environment," Lee said. "And we are teaching our kids some responsibility and how to take care of the earth."

Richards says the federal government started supplying cities funding for recycling programs in the 1990's, but since that source has 'dried up' they're trying to find other forms of revenue such as grants.

"Other than that passing additional taxes is the only way you're going to fund it," Richards said. "I don't think the citizens at this point want nor deserve a tax increase. We could fix this problem but when we do that it's going to create three or four more problems that affect the entire city."

Richard also thinks the problem will continue to evolve and could affect other smaller cities in the Heartland their own recycling programs.

"I think it's a crisis we're seeing regionally, nationwide and it's even having global impacts," he said. "It's something that is probably going to get worse before it gets better."

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