Recycling partnership with Benning could bring city $230,000

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comApril 29, 2014 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com City officials and other dignitaries cut the ribbon and opened the new Sustainability Center off of Schatulga Road Wednesday. Pat Biegler, Columbus public works director, hopes to soon recycle 40 percent of all household waste at the new state-of-the-art recycling center. This could add 60 years or more to the life of the current landfill, that would otherwise be a capacity in 28 years. 12.11.13

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

A proposed "public-public partnership" between Columbus and Fort Benning could produce about $230,000 in revenue for the city's Recycling and Sustainability Center, Deputy City Manager David Arrington told Columbus Councilors today.

A section of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act allows military installations to enter into partnerships with neighboring governments in a number of different functions, one of which is recycling. When that became law, it created an opportunity for both the city and the post to take advantage of, Arrington said.

The city would add capacity to its recycling center, which has plenty to spare, Arrington said, and the post would get "green credits," based on the tonnage of material recycled.

Under the agreement, Fort Benning agrees to make recycling mandatory at its 4,200 residential units and to provide large rolling recycling carts for each household. Columbus would provide two trucks, drivers and crews to pick up the refuse weekly.

The cost to the city would be about $230,000 -- about $60,000 for the drivers, $30,000 for fuel and about $140,000 for leasing two trucks. Public Works Director Pat Biegler said the city could expect to process about 59 tons of material per week, which would produce almost $460,000 in revenue.

Biegler said she is proposing to lease the trucks instead of buying them to limit taxpayer liability should the agreement turn out not to be viable. The agreement between the post and city also has a clause that would allow either entity to cancel the agreement with 60 days notice.

The presentation to Council today was during a work session, so no formal proposal was made and no action was taken. But members of council were receptive of the idea during their questions and comments.

"It's good for us and it's good for them," Councilor Judy Thomas said.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley said he plans to bring a resolution for Council's approval next month.

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