Increased participation by Cattaraugus County residents in the county's voluntary recycling program has resulted in a $19,000 rebate for October collections.
News of the windfall was given the Legislature's Public Works Committee Wednesday by Public Works Commissioner Rickey M. Johnson, who said the county will get credit toward the cost of disposing of garbage at the CID Landfill in Chaffee.
He said another credit was expected for November since the amount of garbage being taken to CID has dropped as the result of more recycling by residents. "The good news is we expect this will have a positive impact on our budget," Johnson added.
But there is also bad news, he said, because CID will be increasing tipping fees to $37.50 a ton from $30 next year. "The rate could be more if recycling requirements aren't met, said Johnson. A $40-a-ton fee for ash disposal will not change.
In a related development, Cecchi News of Olean, the largest magazine distributor in the county, will begin shredding magazines. Cecchi News has been receiving money from the county not to dispose of unused magazines as solid waste.
Johnson said it's possible the county will be able to begin public collections of old magazines and then contract with Cecchi for disposal by shredding.
The county currently has no plans to collect telephone books or junk mail for recycling.
Effective Jan. 1 recycling becomes mandatory in the county and the department is gearing up for the process.
An account clerk will begin work Dec. 17, charged with distributing and and keeping records of tickets that will be sold to the public. Every 30-gallon bag of garbage will carry a $1 disposal fee. People will be able to purchase tickets from town and municipal clerks and at retail outlets.
People who take their garbage to a transfer station will have to show an attendant a ticket before trash is accepted. There will be no charge to dispose of recyclable items.
Some villages are selling residents garbage bags for $1 each as a way to offset tipping fees municipal garbage trucks face for dumping at transfer stations.
The county expects to collect $2.25 million in fees next next year to partially offset costs of operating a solid-waste system.
Eight transfer station workers also will start work and a deputy sheriff will be assigned to policing garbage violators, who will face $100 fines for failing to recycle or for illegal dumping. Complaints will be taken at the Public Works Department, said Johnson.
Legislators discussed several reports of roadside dumping that Johnson said is not uncommon. After Jan. 1, "Some of this is going to get blamed on the fee system," he said. "You nail them and put their (violators) names in the papers several times and they'll stop," suggested Legislator Robert Kent, R-Olean.
Legislators also talked about composting. Residents can take yards wastes and related materials to the former landfill at Mansfield. Johnson said an area at the former landfill at Ischua may also be opened for composting.
The county's recycling program will include newspapers, glass, cans, plastics, batteries and tires, and will be expanded as markets are available. Johnson noted residents can dispose of up to five quarts of motor oil per day at any gas station.