Forsyth County to double trash center fees

Potential to raise $60,000 per year

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – The price of bagged trash in the county may soon go up.

The Forsyth County Solid Waste Department and Keep Forsyth County Beautiful Board asked the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners for a price hike of bagged trash at the three county convenience centers from .25 cents a bag to 50 cents a bag, said Tammy Wright, manager of the county’s environmental programs.

Recycling in the county is still free.

Commissioners will have final say at an upcoming regular meeting.

Consumers who recycle currently pay .25 cents per bag of trash. That fee is going to be increased to .50 cents.

If a consumer does not recycle, the fee for trash will remain $1 per bag.

“We’ve never had a price increase as long as this program has been in existence,” Wright said. “We have looked at neighboring counties, and we’re the cheapest by far.”

The fee increase has the potential to raise revenue to about $60,000 per year and to increase community recycling, according to county staff.

The three county recycling centers recycled 355 tons of glass, 598 tons of mixed paper and a combined total of 880 tons of aluminum, tin cans, plastic, cardboard and phonebooks in 2010, Wright told the Forsyth Herald.

These totals do not include motor oil, cooking oil, electronics, books, tires, scrap metal, batteries or clothing that can also be recycled at the centers.

Wright said the hike would “keep up with the times,” ease the function of giving change and help to educate residents about county’s recycling program.

“I think we can continue to show customers that if they pull out as many recyclables as possible, they in fact won’t have a price increase,” Wright said.

The Forsyth County Solid Waste Department was also given authorization at the Feb. 22 workshop to apply for a $125,000 Coca-Cola Recycling Curbside Acceleration Grant.

The money would go toward the purchase of five self-contained aluminum and plastic-bottle compactors, as well as to distribute outreach educational materials.

The program is an effort by Coca-Cola to recover plastic bottles and aluminum cans equal to 100 percent of the bottles and cans that are produced by the company annually by the year 2020.

“We plan on increasing our recycling by 10 percent,” Wright said.

In partnership with Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, the drink maker will distribute up to $1.4 million in a competitive grant process to nonprofits and local governments in the state to promote recycling efforts.

The county’s convenience centers are open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays and holidays. The centers only accept cash.