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City of Lincoln reduces recycling sites in county

City of Lincoln reduces recycling sites in county

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RECYLING: Daniel Collins throw away recyclables in the Davey Refuse Transfer Station on Monday in Davey. (Staff Photo by Elsie Stormberg)

DAVEY – For life-long Davey inhabitant Mike Resilius, recycling is second hand. 

“It’s silly to throw that stuff away when it could be used,” Resilius said. 

However, when he heard about Lancaster County’s plan to reduce its recycling sites, including the Davey Refuse Transfer Station, he felt that it was not conducive to deprive villages like Davey of easy access to free recycling. 

According to Donna Garden, the assistant director of Transportation and Utilities for Lancaster County, the decision was based on revenue and being able to maintain the county’s 30-year-old recycling program. 

“We went from paying $600,000, a year for collection and getting $300,000 in revenue to $3.1 million for the entire collection of the sites,” Garden said. 

In 2020, Lincoln has spent $1.8 million of the estimated $3.1 million on county recycling, Garden said.

Garden reported that in order to afford that, Lancaster residents’ occupation tax would have to rise insurmountably or the Transportation and Utilities Department would need to introduce a different solution. Thus, the Consumer Recyclables Collection Site consolidation plan was formed. 

According to Davey Village Clerk Pam Huck, Davey received a letter informing the village of this change on June 26. The letter said that Lincoln will discontinue collections from the Davey Refuse Transfer Station on or before Dec. 31, 2020. 

While the Davey Refuse Transfer Station will cease to operate, Garden said that her department will still provide the villages and towns of Lancaster County with proper recycling equipment and help to get them in contact with different contractors.  

In Lincoln alone, recycling sites will be reduced from a total of 19 sites to four or five larger sites.

Huck said that Davey has not made a decision about how they will have their recycling collected, but plans to begin discussion at the Davey Village Board Meeting on Sunday, Aug. 9, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. 

Until a decision is made, Garden said Lincoln will continue to pay for Davey’s recycling. 

In the end, Garden wants to make sure everyone still has access to recycling, especially villages like Davey. 

“We were not trying to de-emphasize recycling, we still think it’s a really really important program for us,” Garden said. “All we’re trying to do is to make it financially sustainable.”

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