GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – Some changes are likely around the corner for Greer residents when it comes to how they recycle.
Greer city leaders said the changes are needed to pay off the existing deficit in the sanitation fund.
Recycling on Janie Seay’s street, she said, is pretty typical.
“By looking at the cans that are out on recycling day, I would say a majority of neighbors do recycle,” said Seay, a Greer resident.
For years, a truck has made its way up and down her road to pick up the recycled goods.
However, that could soon be a thing of the past.
“We have a contract entity that picks up garbage and has for years in the city of Greer,” explained city administrator Andrew Merriman. “Over that amount of time, recycling was the reasonable thing to do but there has been changes in the global market.”
Merriman said curbside recycling is no longer cost effective. He told us that’s, in part, because the price to dispose of recycling has gone up dramatically over the last couple of years.
All of that, is hitting the city’s sanitation fund hard.
“Over the last two years, we are somewhere in the neighborhood of about $460,000 we’ve had to subsidize out of the general fund into our solid waste fund. That is inherently unfair because that comes out of the general property tax businesses and residents are paying,” Merriman said.
To remedy it all, Greer residents would have to drop-off their recyclables – which Merriman said will help taxpayers in the long run.
Also, in the 2022 budget is a proposed $20 annual increase for sanitation services to make up for the deficit.
“I’d be very disappointed,” said Seay.
Residents like Janie Seay don’t mind the extra $20 a year but she believes halting the curbside pick up, will stop people from recycling all together.
“Where are you going to store it?” asked Seay. “We have a can full every time they pick up. And how are you going to get it there?”
The city of Greer, on the other hand, is optimistic. They’re hoping it will bring higher quality recyclables to their drop off facilities.
This all still needs to undergo a second reading with Greer City Council. If everything passes, it would go in effect as soon as August 1.
The city of Greer isn’t alone in the Upstate when it comes to altering curbside recycling pick ups. Simpsonville did the same thing last year, citing to similar concerns.
Greer city leaders also said they are investing in the city’s recycling facility to make it more inviting and easier for drop offs.