|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 11 August 2010 08:00|
With a 4-3 vote, the Camp Verde Town Council did not renew a contract with a Sedona-based nonprofit to provide recycling services at a location off of Apache Trail, near the local public schools and town swimming pool.
The town has been paying Sedona Recycles $600 a month for these recyclable material bins. But since the contract with the nonprofit was signed, the nonprofit has set up bins in the parking lot of the Outpost Mall on Finnie Flat Road, a location that has proven to be much more popular with locals.
It’s all about location, location, location.
“It’s a major thoroughfare,” Councilwoman Carol German said. “It’s where a majority of people go to shop.”
Camp Verde is the only town in the area that actually increased the amount its residents recycled over the past year, Jill McCutcheon, Sedona Recycles executive director, said.
“It’s taken off like wildfire,” McCutcheon said. “Recycling [in Camp Verde] has nearly doubled.”
The bins in town produced more than 360 tons of material, according to McCutcheon.
“That’s a lot,” McCutcheon said.
While most of the material collected comes from the Outpost Mall site, McCutcheon said her nonprofit was hoping to see increased use at the Apache Trail site.
Sedona Recycles uses some of the money it collects from that site to reinvest in educational programs about the importance of recycling in Camp Verde schools. The schools already use the nearby bins, McCutcheon said, and she was hoping to see even more use once the educational component started to take off.
As a nonprofit organization, McCutcheon said Sedona Recycles breaks even just about every year by funneling any leftover money into these programs.
McCutcheon said if the bins are removed from Apache Trail, she expects there will be an “outcry” from residents in the area who use the bins regularly.
Councilwoman Norma Garrison discounted the inconvenience of taking the bins away might create.
“Not everyone goes to the school, not everyone has children in school,” Garrison said. “But everyone has to eat, everyone goes to the grocery store and the drug store.”
Garrison said it wouldn’t be a major issue for people to just load up their recycling in the car on the next trip to the store.
The nonprofit also employs some of the developmentally disabled adults that live at nearby Rainbow Acres, where they’re called “ranchers.”
“I have to think about the impact of putting those folks to work,” Councilman Pete Roulette said. “It almost means everything to them.”
That, combined with the company’s educational programs, led the Town Council to not totally discount the Apache Trail site’s future.
Rouletter also suggested that by paying for recycling, the town could set an example for others.
Roulette, Councilman Bob Kovacovich and Councilwoman Robin Whatley voted to extend the contract another year, but they were in the minority.
Mayor Bob Burnside said he would like new Town Manager Russ Martin, who starts the job this week, to work with Sedona Recycles and see if a workable solution could be found.
If no agreement can be reached, McCutcheon said the bins could possibly be moved to the Outpost Mall site.
McCutcheon said that since the company absorbs a lot of the costs of the privately-owned site with no town support, it wasn’t really interested in hiding the bins, and suggested that making the bins less visible could keep people from realizing where the bins are located.
“We could still advertise, put a sign on it to let people know where the recycling is,” German said. “Something aesthetic. ... We do want Camp Verde to look nice for people coming in.”
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