City Council News

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

Billy Porter, Meridian manager for Waste Management, came to the Meridian City Council Tuesday with a request.

"We're requesting to eliminate the glass from the recycling stream, basically because we've been losing money on it for the last three to four years," said Porter. "We will continue to pick it up in the garbage. It's not going to be left, something we're not going to pick up. It just moves from the recycling stream into the garbage stream."

Porter said it was a dollars and cents decision.

"Clear glass that we're trying to eliminate, at one time, we could get $50 per ton for it and they would pay to transport it to Atlanta to help pay the transportation of it. Now we do good to get $25 a ton and we have to pay the transportation company and transportation costs usually runs you about $18 to $20 per ton," Porter said.

The city of Meridian shares in the revenues generated by recycling. Those revenues have been decreasing.

"Recycling is not a money-making business," said Porter. "At best most of the time you break even. Steel, plastic, plastic market is very volatile. You'll have a load and you'll ship it this month and you'll make a little money on it and then the next month you'll ship another load and you'll lose three times what you made the prior month."

Newsprint, cardboard tin cans, and plastic will continue to be accepted as recyclables under the new policy.

Also Tuesday, council members approved purchasing a former bust station building for $85,000, substantially below its appraised value of $100,000.

"It has long been a shared vision with the administration and the council that if that property became available in front of city hall it would certainly be in our best interests for the public to acquire that piece of property and be able to control the development of that piece of property," said Mayor John Robert Smith.

No plan for its future use was announced. The purchase does not include the adjacent building, currently occupied by a printing company.


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