Waste pro­gram ex­pand­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - TOM SISSOM

BEN­TONVILLE — Ben­ton County res­i­dents soon will have more re­cy­cling op­tions when the county’s con­ve­nience cen­ter pro­gram opens a new site and moves an­other.

Wendy Bland, di­rec­tor of the Ben­ton County Solid Waste Dis­trict, said the dis­trict and the county are work­ing to open a con­ve­nience cen­ter in Bella Vista near the re­cy­cling cen­ter on Pin­ion Bluff Drive and to move the Rogers cen­ter to a trans­fer sta­tion near the Rogers Re­cy­cling Cen­ter at 2300 N. Ar­kan­sas St.

Bland said the dis­trict is wait­ing on a de­ci­sion from the Bella Vista Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, which will

de­cide how much de­tail the dis­trict needs to pro­vide on its site plans.

“Noth­ing we’re go­ing to have is go­ing to be a per­ma­nent struc­ture so we don’t know how much they’re go­ing to want us to do,” Bland said.

She said the dis­trict will have a lease with AARP, which operates the re­cy­cling cen­ter in Bella Vista, so the con­ve­nience cen­ter can be there af­ter the county does site im­prove­ments.

John Sud­duth, gen­eral ser­vices ad­min­is­tra­tor, said ini­tial hopes were the cen­ter would open in March, but the timetable has been pushed back.

“We’re wait­ing on her to get the proper per­mits,” Sud­duth said. “It al­ways takes some time. We re­ally don’t have a pro­jected open­ing date at this time. It will prob­a­bly be at least an­other month.”

The county, work­ing with the dis­trict, be­gan a pi­lot pro­gram last year to ex­pand

its con­ve­nience cen­ter op­er­a­tion from a lo­ca­tion near Cen­ter­ton to sites in Rogers and Siloam Springs to give res­i­dents more op­por­tu­ni­ties to safely dis­pose of house­hold waste.

The grow­ing vol­ume of waste and re­cy­cling ma­te­rial taken to an­nual cleanup events spurred the ex­pan­sion. More than 2,700 loads were col­lected in two cleanup days in 2015. The county dis­con­tin­ued the events last year in fa­vor of the ex­panded con­ve­nience cen­ter pro­gram. The county bud­geted about $161,000 for the pro­gram in 2016. That amount is pro­jected to be $199,000 in 2017.

Of­fi­cials said in Septem­ber the amount of solid waste brought to the cen­ters al­ready was more than dou­ble the amount brought to the 2015 cleanup events. A large num­ber of vis­i­tors to the cen­ters were from Bella Vista, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion gath­ered by the staff.

Sud­duth told the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee in Jan­uary the first year of the con­ve­nience cen­ter op­er­a­tion had been more suc­cess­ful than an­tic­i­pated. He said the sites re­ported a to­tal of 11,330 loads of re­cy­clable ma­te­rial dropped off, com­pared to about 2,700 the county nor­mally re­ceived dur­ing the cleanup events.

Sud­duth also said 13,536 elec­tron­ics items were brought in, com­pared with about 5,600 that would have been left at the cleanups.

The num­ber of tires also is higher with more than tires brought to the cen­ters com­pared to about 1,500 at cleanup events.

Jackie Crab­tree, Pea Ridge mayor and chair­man of the Solid Waste Dis­trict’s board, said the use of the con­ve­nience cen­ters is likely to grow.

“That first year you spend mostly try­ing to get the word out to peo­ple,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.