County To Take Over Recycling Program

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A recycling program between the town of Payson and Gila County has now been approved by both parties.

The program was approved Tuesday by the Gila County Board of Supervisors and will likely begin in several months, Supervisor Tommie Martin said.

In the program, the county will be responsible for the collection of paper recyclable materials in Payson.

The county will purchase a new recycling truck for the efforts.

Recycling Task Force Chair Christine Harrison touted the program at a Sept. 6 council meeting as a way for the town to save money.

Harrison and the task force conducted research to determine recycling needs in the town.

The Payson Town Council approved the program on Nov. 1 and was waiting for the county's approval before the program could begin.

The town previously had a contract for recycling services with Waste Management for around $40,000 a year for the collection of the paper materials from the three recycle bin locations throughout town.

The county, led by Solid Waste Manager Sharon Winters, agreed to take over the program free of charge to the town in the hopes that it could prolong the usage of the Buckhead Mesa Landfill -- a long-term savings for taxpayers, Martin said.

Martin said the county would not likely make any substantive money off the recyclable materials for years.

"It's not about the money," she said. "It's about saving the pit for many more years. We're doing it because it's the right thing to do."

The contract between the town of Payson and the county will run from Nov. 20 of this year to Nov. 1, 2008, and will automatically be renewed for successive one-year periods unless terminated by either party.

Martin said she anticipates the program will begin Feb. 1, 2008, after the county receives its new truck, which should happen in mid-January 2008.

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