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Letter: Recycling proposal needs kicked to curb


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Tom Heller

Columbus

Let’s see if I have this straight:

1. Cummins and other local businesses and organizations will donate about $1 million to the city to acquire a new collection truck and provide about 10,000 households with 96-gallon containers.

2. In turn, the city and its taxpayers will commit to spending about $204,000 a year to fuel and maintain the truck and add two full-time employees to the city payroll with the complete menu of benefits (health insurance, sick leave, holidays, retirement contribution, etc.) to operate this truck for curbside recycling pickup every other week throughout Columbus.

3. The combined product of these efforts over the course of each year will be about 1,100 tons of stuff (unsorted recyclable materials) that apparently will have so little value it will cost city taxpayers $30,000 to have someone haul it away, neatly consuming the $30,000 saved by not disposing of this pile in the landfill.

How is this an efficient solution? In operating costs alone, taxpayers will have $160 a ton invested in that pile — not counting the donations from Cummins and others — but we’ll then have to pay someone to get rid of it? What am I missing here? Will the economics make sense if I stand on my head?

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