Midland Recycling Fee Now Mandatory 09/27/12
CBS 7 News
September 27, 2012
MIDLAND, TX – Midlanders are now required to pay a recycling fee that before yesterday had been voluntary. Though the city will be receiving over $120,000 more, thanks to this fee, Midlanders shouldn't expect any improvement in services. Midland City Council passed the mandatory fee with a 5 to 1 vote and the councilman who voted against the change says he's concerned.
Prior to council's vote last Tuesday, Midlanders could volunteer to pay a $.50 recycling fee used for recycling programs around the Tall City. But City leaders say the recycling fee was not paying the bills and now that fee is mandatory even for the 40 percent that had opted out, something Midland City Councilman John James is not in support of.
"It's just paying for what you were getting yesterday, it's not paying for any improvements to the system, which is really my big concern," said John James, Midland City Councilman.
Councilman James says if the city is going to raise recycling rates, the program should be improved.
"We're not making any steps forward, we're simply getting even and if we're gonna make that fee mandatory then we should review the entire program to make sure we are meeting certain goals, because we still have a litter problem and still having trouble picking up our recycling bins, maybe it's time to look at the while program and maybe revamping them or privatizing them so that our citizens are getting better value for their dollar," said John James.
Midlander Nelda Gillihan hopes the fee will encourage "greener" practices.
"I do think people that people will start recycling once they realizing they are paying it," said Nelda Gillihan, Midlander.
Midlanders we spoke to off camera tell us they would like to see more recycling drop-off locations around town. City officials tell us some of the revenue may be used to expand the program in the future.