Agency questions subsidy to Waste Management
The Jefferson County Service Agency will be seeking answers to a number of questions before renewing its contract with Waste Management for the Citizen Convenience Center on Libertyville Road.
“I don’t understand why we’re subsidizing Waste Management,” said Jefferson County Supervisor Lee Dimmitt. He is questioning the roughly $52,000 paid yearly by the city and county to keep the facility open to the public.
He explained taxpayer money already went into the construction of the building after the county was faced with a state mandate to reduce the amount of trash being sent to the landfill by 25 percent. The mandate resulted in a contract with Ralph Stever for construction of the building — for which Stever was reimbursed $200,000 over 10 years, according to city attorney John Morrissey.
Dimmitt pointed out city residents already pay a fee for curbside service. If he were on the city council, Dimmitt would want to know why the city is still paying an additional $31,000 per year for the convenience center.
Dimmitt said the $21,000 fee is more understandable for the county because rural residents don’t pay for recycling collection. However, Dimmitt said when he takes items to the center, he performs all the labor of separating the items himself.
Additionally, recycling has become a money generating operation, he said. And while general recyclables — such as newspaper and plastic — are accepted at no cost, Waste Management charges for electronics and appliances, Dimmitt added.
He said Cedar Rapids has actually stopped charging fees to accept computers because they’ve become marketable.
Dimmitt also would be interested to know how many rural residents use the facility.
For the complete article, see the Friday, September 10, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.