ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Free recycling in Rock Island County is coming to an end. Starting September 30th, the recycling bin drop off sites will no longer exist. It comes after a series of budget cuts by the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency.
There are four different locations, in Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, and Milan. Brandon Melton works for the Waste Management Agency. He says it’s a result of less trash coming into the landfill in the past year.
Melton saying, “As of the new year we had received a couple of our tipping fee payments from the landfill which is what funds the program and they wre lower than usual, significantly lower than usual.”
The drop off sites are fully funded through tipping fees. It’s the money made from dumpsters being emptied at the landfill. Melton saying, “When a dumpster comes to the landfill there is a fee assessed for each load that is deposited based on the volume, and since volumes were down there weren’t as many fees coming to our agency.”
Melton suspects less trash came in because of businesses being shut down the majority of last year saying, ‘It’s odd for us to say that we’re hoping for more to come to the landfill, but as things get back to normal, we expect that there will be an increase in our income.”
There are other options for residents in the participating towns. All four offer voluntary or mandatory curbside recycling for a fee. If you’re looking to still recycle for free you can do so across the river. The Scott Area Waste Management Agency will accept recyclables for free at their location. Melton saying, “A little bit more of a drive for a free service.”
Dean Styx lives in Rock Island and he shares he’s sad to see the service go saying, “Last time I was down here these things were so full you couldn’t put anything in them.”
The same goes for Tammy Dimmick. She also lives in Rock Island and uses the recycling center there to get rid of her cardboard. She just moved back to the area and was considering getting a curbside bin, but now that’s all she thinks there is to do, “We’re going to have to. There’s no other option. I wish they would keep them. It’s an asset to the community.”
The Rock Island County Waste Agency shares they hope to eventually start the program back up when funding gets back up to normal levels.