By JOHN McBRYDE
The Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman voted 7-0 Tuesday night to give city staff the go-ahead to move away from the blue bag recycling program that was implemented in 2010 for residential service across the city.
Aldermen had been presented with the idea during previous work sessions in which Mark Hilty and Jack Tucker from Sanitation and Environmental Services gave detailed presentations, so Tuesday’s unanimous vote came without any discussion or questions. It’s been demonstrated that blue bags are simply not the best method for recycling.
“This essentially provides for transition in our residential recycling programs from our blue bags that we use today to a roll-out container,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey told aldermen. “Services would transition by January 2020.”
The roll-out container would be 64 gallons compared to the 96-gallon one used for solid waste. The new system is known as automated curbside recycling.
The city’s new recycling method would be voluntary. Those who choose to participate would pay $4 a month for 12 months to help offset the cost of the container and any administrative fees.
The resolution also provides for the city to move out of the commercial dumpster business. Customers would get a 90-day notice that the city is no longer provide that service and businesses would need to rely on private haulers to handle commercial dumpster services.
Stuckey said at a previous work session that residents would benefit from the new system.
“If you’re a regular blue bag person,” he said, “you’re going to pay for this in a little more than a year, depending on the volume you use. [After all], the blue bags are not free. It’s a pretty quick payback for most people.”
Franklin’s blue bag program began in July 2010, and Tucker estimates participation by residents has climbed to as high as 80 percent.
“I expect an increase in the volume of recyclables [with the newly proposed method],” he said at a previous work session. “The easier and more convenient you make it for people to use it, the more participation you’ll have. And I think Franklin being Franklin, people will catch on to it pretty quickly.”