San Marcos council members delayed a decision this afternoon on a proposal from the city’s trash contractor to integrate a more comprehensive recycling service into their five-year contract.
Two weeks ago, the council approved the contract extension to provide trash pickup and disposal for single-family homes and small rental units. Under the agreement, residents will pay $13.98 a month for trash pickup as part of their city utility bill, 23 cents less than the current $14.21 rate. But that savings comes at a cost of reducing trash service from two to one day a week.
In a special meeting this evening, the council considered an add-on proposal from TDS that would have provided for single-stream recycling service for residents, including apartment complexes not covered by the current trash contract, for an additional $1.72 a month. Single-stream recycling would allow consumers to recycling most kinds of glass, plastic and paper in a single bin without separation.
Council members John Thomaides and Chris Jones argued that the additional service would save most residents money compared to the $5 a month TDS will charge under the new contract for a second trash bin. The new agreement takes effect July 1.
“For many of our residents, especially low-income households with large families, single-stream recycling will actually represent a savings,” Jones said.
Joined by council member Gaylord Bose, a majority of the council quorum said they wanted to consider the recycling add-on. Council members Daniel Guerrero and Pam Couch were absent.
Mayor Susan Narvaiz and council member Kim Porterfield said they want to consider recycling services as part of a separate contract that would require a new bidding process, called a request for proposals, that would allow other companies to compete for the recycling contract. Porterfield and Narvaiz said an expanded recycling program should be accompanied by an education process to urge residents to use the service.
“We need to look at all the options available to our community and how we educate the community to change behavior that were asking them to change. I’m not opposed to single-stream recycling but I just don’t want to rush into it,” the mayor said.
Narvaiz pointed out a clause in the proposed recycling program that allows TDS to dispose of recyclable material in landfills if they cannot secure an appropriate processor for the recyclable material.
“If we’re going to pay more and it ends up going to the landfill anyway that defeats the purpose,” Narvaiz said.Email | Print