The city of Atmore is out of the recycling business, at least for the time being.
Mayor Jim Staff announced Monday (October 23) that he had ordered the immediate closure of the fenced-in area off East Ridgeley Street in which 13 dumpsters, designated for recyclables only, are located.
Staff cited a much-larger-than-expected increase in collection fees for the closing, which he hoped would be only for a short time. Actually, the cost increase went way beyond the level of drastic.
“(Waste Pro, the city’s present recycling provider) went up from $260 a month, $20 each for our 13 dumpsters, to $13,000 a month, or $1,000 per dumpster,” the mayor revealed after Monday’s city council meeting. “They were pretty much telling us that they didn’t want to fool with it (the city’s recycling) anymore.”
Earlier Monday, the city issued an email to inform local media of the decision to close the center and of the mayor’s anticipation that the closing would be only temporary. He urged patience as an effort is made to rectify the situation.
“The City of Atmore has been forced to end our contract for recycling pickup due to a drastic price increase,” the email read. “Effective immediately, the Atmore Recycling Program has temporarily closed. Hopefully, this closure will last only a brief time, so please be patient.”
Staff said he and city officials were already conducting a search to try and find a suitable provider that didn’t charge as much.
“Be assured that we are working diligently to find a new recycling provider,” he said. “We hope to improve our recycling services to better serve our community, and we’re looking over our options right now.”
Meanwhile, asked what people should do with their cardboard and paper recyclables during the period of closure, the mayor said there was only one real option.
“I guess we’re going to just have to do like we used to and put it beside the street until we get this straightened out,” he said.