In just two days, Forest Park made $700 from collecting residents’ curbside recyclables, giving hope that the decision to start the program will prove profitable for the city, said officials.
The announcement was made by City Manager John Parker Monday during the city’s regular council meeting.
“There certainly is some potential here,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing more people participating.”
At the other end of the trash spectrum Monday, the City Council has approved issuing a permit to Waste Management to allow the company to separate other recyclables from garbage taken to the Lamar Drive Transfer Station. The city will not profit from those materials.
However, Parker said the result is the same.
“This is a continuation of what you started in Forest Park with recycling,” he told the Council. “It saves landfill space and helps your initiative.”
Kirk Boettler, district manager for Waste Management, fielded questions from the public about the permit request. However, the bulk of concerns had more to do with complaints about the company’s weekly trash pick-up.
“Two weeks ago, I didn’t get trash pick up neither week,” said Willie Finch. “I’m wondering when I’m going to get my refund.”
Carl Evans complained about the quality of the pick-up.
“I’m extremely dissatisfied with Waste Management,” said Evans. “I’ve found nails and stuff in the street. They’re leaving cans in the driveways and when you get home, you’ve got to stop and get out to move the cans to get into your driveway.”
Diane Lunsford questioned whether the permit will mean more activity at the transfer station.
“The quality of life on Lamar Drive is zero,” she said. “There’s lots of noise and traffic already. Is this going to make it increase? Are there going to be more trucks on that road? More heavy equipment? Personally, I am not in favor of what you’re asking.”
Boettler seemed rattled by the complaints and promised to investigate.
“We’ve got to do better than that,” he said. “I’ll be discussing with the managers who handle the service to make changes. I’m going to do everything I can to correct this right away. We’re better than that.”
Boettler also assured Lunsford that activity will not increase at the transfer station.
In other Council business:
• Members extended the moratorium on changeable copy signs for 30 days to give officials more time to investigate the issue.
• Members removed “day care centers” and added “hotels with conference centers” to the “Places of Assembly” city ordinance.
• Members agreed to add $315,000 in salaries and $165,000 in benefits to pay for fire service on Fort Gillem. The property was acquired by the City earlier this year.