Chesterfield residents may have to pay to recycle

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A cut to Chesterfield County's budget would require residents to pay for recycling, instead of the county picking up the tab.

By the looks of it, it's safe to say Thomas Stump doesn't recycle.  At $64 every other month, the retiree takes full advantage of his trash can. He says if the county moves forward with a $25 recycling fee for all residents, he'll be throwing money away too.

"If I don't use it, I don't think I should have to pay for it," said Stump. "Let the people that recycle pay for it, if they want to recycle."

Kathy Holstetler is not about to let the county's recycling program kick the bucket. She says the twice a month curbside pick-up is worth the fee.

"I'm worried for the people who might not take it to the drop-off containers would just stop recycling all together," said Holstetler.

Right now 54% of Chesterfield residents recycle at least once a year. It costs the county $2.5 million to contract out the pick-ups.

"Chesterfield County residents recycle about 14,000 tons of material a year," said Philip Abraham of Recycle Twice Chesterfield.

Philip Abraham says if residents pay, that $2.5 million would be available for other departments. And Bill Feltus, with the recycling company, says it would keep him from cutting jobs.

"We would lose about 36% of our volume, in turn we'd lose 36% of our revenue," said Feltus.

If recycling is stopped, everyone could pay more for trash since more of it would be going to landfills.  There's also a chance this $25 fee could be raised year after year. Philip thinks the fee would spark more bins to sit curbside instead of upside down.

"They'd see the bill, they'd think, I should be using this- it's something I'm paying for," said Philip.

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