In recent months, La Porte City’s Recycling Center has become a dumping ground where items that are clearly not eligible are being dropped off by individuals who demonstrate little respect for the City’s recycling guidelines. Used motor oil, tires and furniture are just a few examples of what the City’s Public Works Department must contend with before the loads can be transported out of town. Unfortunately, when non-recycle materials are discovered mixed in with materials dropped off at the City’s Recycling Center, the load gets taken to the landfill. Instead of saving resources, the City is billed for what is deposited at the landfill, increasing the cost of sanitation services for local residents. On December 12, the issue came before the City Council at its regularly scheduled meeting.
One option the City could pursue would be to close the Recycling Center location altogether and maintain just its curbside recycling program. Should the City decide to close the Center, it stands to lose $4,570, roughly half the amount of a recycling grant it receives annually.
Rather than terminate the Recycling Center, Black Hawk Waste has offered alternative solutions that may help alleviate some of the issues. They include using special locks for the dumpsters at the Recycling Center and reducing the amount of sorting needed by allowing residents to put all recycling, with the exception of glass and cardboard, into one dumpster.
As these potential solutions are being explored, the City will continue to monitor activities at the Recycling Center site and revisit the issue if problems continue to persist.
In other business, the Council moved forward with bonding the positions of Mayor, City Clerk and City Treasurer. In recent years, the City has not provided bonds for these public officials and was reminded by the City’s auditor that such bonds are required.