Warrensburg's leaders have decided to boost recycling efforts in town to help its residents save money on trash disposal fees and trim local taxes.
Town leaders pledged to boost recycling efforts and educate local citizens in the task — soon after they heard from a town board member how local government as well as residents could save money through the measures.
Town board member Linda Baker Marcella reported to the panel that a variety of plastics, now pitched into the trash hopper at the town landfill, could be separated by residents, collected in a bin at the landfill and sold to hauler Waste Management Inc. for $200 per ton.
For 25 years, state regulations have required that municipalities across the state collect and recycle plastics and a variety of other materials, but many of these counties, cities and towns have not complied with the full list, citing that it wasn’t cost efficient to do so.
Marcella, however, has spent time recently researching the issue of recycling, based on the town board’s commitment to trim taxpayer expenses of trash transport and disposal, she said.
Marcella noted that recycling as much as possible yields double rewards for taxpayers: by reducing the disposal fees at the town landfill, and by easing the tax burden.
With as much as 80 percent of trash now able to be recycled, disposal costs are slashed for taxpayers, while the recyclable items can earn cash to offset the costs of transporting either trash or recyclables to their destination, she said.
Marcella gave her presentation to the town board at its Sept. 12 meeting, noting some attractive prices now being paid for recyclable materials: selected plastics, $200 per ton; steel cans - clean and with labels removed, $200 per ton; newspapers, $90 per ton; cardboard, $85 per ton; magazines, $90 per ton.
She estimated that boosted recycling could save homeowners $100 to $200 per year, and the town many thousands of dollars annually.
“The town board is committed to doing as many things as possible to decrease the cost of trash disposal for residents,” Marcella said.
Hearing Marcella’s presentation, Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty voiced his support of intensified recycling.
“Anything we can take out of the burn stream is good for taxpayers and the environment,” he said.
Marcella said she’s looking into other materials that are routinely recycled to generate revenue and save disposal costs. Other municipalities have been doing so by recycling such materials as clothing and books.
Marcella said she’s also seeking to establish a composting site at the town landfill to handle vegetable kitchen waste — which since it’s a heavy component of trash, can be expensive over time.
In other business, the town board:
• Decided that the Marc Bruce Park at the intersection of Hudson St. will be off-limits to vendors and vehicles during the World’s Largest Garage Sale, due to potential damage to the landscaping. In prior years, it has been used as a sale site for vendors.
•Were informed by Warrensburgh Museum of Local History Director Steve Parisi that conversion to energy-saving lights will slash their electric bill — underwritten by the town;
•Received a letter from John Franchini requesting a position on the town planning board, and set a date of Sept. 24 for an interview for the post;
•Reaffirmed its resolve to enforce rules of no parking of tractor-trailers, trailers, or recreational vehicles on streets during the World’s Largest Garage Sale. The board emphasized that private property owners who host vendors with such vehicles must provide appropriate, legal spaces for them off public thoroughfares.
• Announced that they fully support Town Assessor Greg Klingler’s new postcards depicting Warrensburg, but Supervisor Geraghty said they can’t be put out for sale at the town hall because it would benefit a private enterprise. Geraghty continued that shortly they will be available at other retail locations and convenience stores;
•Heard that the state Department of Transportation is holding off on repaving Rte. 9 (Main St.) through town and likely to tackle the project this spring;
• Heard from Supervisor Geraghty that less than 100 water meters have yet to be installed. About six weeks ago, 672 of the 1,112 town’s residential water customers had not complied with the mandate to have a water meter installed. He said that town water department employees have installed about 35 meters per workday, and all town employees — clerks, elected officials, and support staff — have put in extra effort and time to get the conversion project accomplished. Geraghty noted that the installation of water meters has prompted people to conserve water, and the savings is likely to be remarkable, in the long run, to both the town taxpayers and the water customers.