Archive for Thursday, March 19, 2009

City urged to consider recycling options

March 19, 2009

Recycling residents of Basehor may have some options soon in response to Leavenworth County’s decision to end recycling in the city.

Chuck Wilderson, of the Basehor PRIDE group, spoke to members of the Basehor City Council Monday night about the importance of continuing recycling.

“We’ve had recycling here for 12 years,” Wilderson said. “We started out doing only aluminum cans, and recently we’ve moved to other items like paper.”

Wilderson said the response had been positive, and that recycling of aluminum cans alone had generated $3,000 to $4,000 per year for the city.

The first Saturday of each month, the PRIDE group collects recycled items that people bring to the Basehor City Park, and the county then picks up all the bins the following Monday.

“We always have a good turnout, and the bins are always completely full,” he said. “We notified the people who came out last weekend that we had to stop doing it, and some were dismayed, and some were just mad.”

The city still has a few areas in Basehor that will take recyclables, and residents can bring items to nearby centers in surrounding cities.

Deffenbaugh, the city’s trash service, could provide Basehor residents with recycling bins and would pick up the items curbside for an added charge of $3 per month, Wilderson said. He said that students at Kansas City Kansas Community College surveyed people in Basehor and found that two-thirds of those surveyed were willing to pay the extra $3 for curbside recycling.

“In my opinion, if we did that survey now, we’d see a larger number,” he said. “I think about 75 percent would be in favor of the curbside recycling.”

Basehor-Linwood Education Foundation president Julian Espinoza also addressed the council on the subject. He said that he was for the curbside idea, but he was not sure that the survey included enough people.

“Less than 10 percent of the population was surveyed, and I don’t know if that’s a fair percent to use for the whole city,” Espinoza said.

Espinoza also said that when he talked to someone at Deffenbaugh, the company was willing to give a portion of what it made on Basehor’s recyclable items back to organizations that still offered recycling and might suffer because of curbside recycling.

City Administrator Carl Slaugh said that Deffenbaugh was in the process of possibly making recycling mandatory for the Shawnee dumping site, which Basehor uses.

“This could happen within the next year,” Slaugh said. “It’s a volume issue, and yard waste is the biggest concern. Deffenbaugh wants leaves and grass clippings to be separate from the regular trash.”

Council members Keith Sifford and Terry Hill were hesitant to make recycling mandatory for the city.

“I don’t think that we should be in the business of requiring people to recycle,” Sifford said. “I think that recycling is great, but the bottom line is, you can recycle now, and you don’t have to pay anything into it.”

Hill said he was unsure that forced recycling was the way to go, but if Deffenbaugh was going to implement it, he wanted the city to be prepared.

Slaugh said Deffenbaugh would give the city ample time to get ready if mandatory recycling went into effect in Basehor.

The council voted, 5-0, to add item J to the agenda, which directed the staff to obtain recycling cost information from Deffenbaugh for the next meeting. Members then approved item J, 4-1, with Sifford opposed.

In other action Monday, the council:

• Approved, 5-0, a change order request from Burns & McDonnell for redesign of the electrical system at the 163rd Street lift station in an amount not to exceed $4,200.

• Approved, 5-0, the Transportation Enhancement grant application with KDOT for the Tomahawk Valley trial project. Council members also voted, 5-0, to ask Steve Miles of Miles Excavating to re-submit his plans for Tomahawk Valley and to accept the proposal from McAfee Henderson Solutions to design the project not exceeding $49,000.

• Approved, 5-0, the renewal of Basehor’s general liability insurance policy with EMC Insurance, effective April 1.

• Approved, 3-2, the final plat for Southside Village as requested by Benchmark Management. Council member Jim Washington and council president Iris Dysart were opposed.

• Approved, 3-2, construction of a maintenance building for the Public Works Department. Washington and Dysart were opposed.

• Approved, 5-0, allocation of funds for the Basehor Dairy Days festival and to allow vendors to stay overnight on June 5 at the Basehor City Park.

• Approved, 5-0, allocation of funds to PRIDE for the July 4 fireworks display.

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