Weekly recycling pick-up in the City of Sun Prairie was rejected by the Public Works Committee Tuesday April 30 despite a push for the service by residents and city staff.
The plan would cost residents at least an extra $31.80 per year. The Refuse and Recycling fund balance would pay for the service through December 2019 and then the fee increase would kick in on Jan. 1, 2020.
The service could start on June 1, if the city council OKs it.
But Sun Prairie alders Maureen Crombie (District 3), Al Guyant (District 4) and Mike Jacobs (District 3) — all Public Works Committee members — voted against the plan at the April 30 meeting. Citizen committee member Bryant Stempski also gave a thumbs down to the service.
The city’s POLCO survey, with 157 responses, showed residents wanted weekly recycling pick-up but that wasn’t enough to persuade Crombie about the overall community response.
“I don’t think we have enough information to move forward on this,” Crombie said.
Jacobs voted against it because will raise fees.
“This (curbside recycling) used to be part of the taxes and then we had a council who took it off the taxes and made it a fee,” Jacobs said. “Now we are talking about increasing that fee another $32. I can tell you now I am not on board for doing it.”
Guyant doesn’t support the proposal because he predicts a tough 2020 city budget coming up, with higher priority items that will need to be funded.
“Of all the things that we need to fund, this doesn’t reach an imperative, it might be convenient,” Guyant said. “What I’ve been telling my neighbors is put your excess in mine, and I’ll put mine in yours.”
The city receives about 30-40 requests per month asking for weekly recycling pick-up, Sun Prairie Public Works Director Lee Igl said.
The city currently has pick-up every other week. Residents who have overflowing recyclables, can request an extra bin, use plastic bags, or take the excess to the city’s refuse and recycling center on South Bird Street.
Igl recommended the weekly recycling curbside pick-up based on residents’ requests.
He said it will also alleviate dumpsters filling up with cardboard at the recycling center.
An extra collection, he said, could encourage residents not to throw away excess recyclables in their garbage bin.
Pellitteri Waste Systems reports that online retail shopping has increased packaging waste in all the markets it serves, including Sun Prairie.
“The Amazon effect has been tremendous in the last couple of years and it’s not just limited to the holiday season anymore,” Pellitteri account executive Tim Bolhuis told public works committee members Tuesday.
The Sun Prairie City Council was scheduled to vote on the weekly curbside recycling pick-up proposal on May 7 but that has been pushed back to May 21, Igl said.