Ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. spearheaded a recent public discussion about removing recycling bins on First Street off Cedar Point Causeway and Marquette Street by Lions Park.
He provided several reasons for his stance, including the bins:
• Costing local taxpayers $131,000 to fund since 2012.
• Being used by residents living outside of Sandusky.
• Doubling as trash hubs where people litter and place non-reusable products.
“We are likely going to get rid of these recycling centers,” Murray said. “They cost too much money, it’s a mess and it’s getting used by people who don’t live here. We are subsidizing other communities”
Unlike garbage collection, people aren’t directly charged nor do they receive a bill to use the bins.
City officials must still budget funds via taxpayer dollars so a professional refuse company can pick up these materials. If city officials remove the bins, state law requires them to provide other opportunities for people to recycle, said Lisa Beursken, Erie County’s solid waste district coordinator.
This could include, for instance, a curbside recycling program. The tedious and controversial process — many contend the program is too expensive and could put smaller haulers out of business — could take several months to implement.
Murray also asked several haulers attending a recent public meeting to submit a bid proposal in hopes a private company can supervise the centers and make them a break-even or profitable venture.
Commissioner Dick Brady, supporting Murray’s stance, asked city manager Nicole Ard to work with area officials and local haulers in solving this issue.
“We have a problem here” Brady said.