Members of the Mills County Board of Supervisors are in on-going discussions with representatives from the county’s incorporated cities to determine what role the county can play in developing and funding future county-wide recycling efforts.
Mills County currently has no recycling program of its own in place but many rural residents are depositing their recyclable items, like plastics and cardboard, at collection sites in Glenwood and other incorporated cities throughout the county. City residents are paying a fee to fund the recycling service. Rural residents are not.
“In a large degree, rural residents are utilizing recycling services available in the individual communities,” Kohn said. “We want to encourage rural residents to do the recycling and we’re looking at the most practical way to offer the service.”
The most practical way, Kohn believes, is to partner with the communities who already have a program in place.
“It makes sense to utilize the services available,” he said. “I can’t see us setting up a (recycling) trailer in the middle of the county somewhere.”
Kohn met last Tuesday with members of the Glenwood City Council to discuss the county’s role in improving and expanding the recyclable material collection site near the Vine Street softball field, where collection trailers fill up fast and neighborhood residents have voiced concerns about the debris and trash piled outside the trailers.
Jim Webel, the city of Glenwood’s code enforcement officer, said he recently spent a day at the site and asked each person bringing items to the trailers if they resided inside or outside the city limits.
“A lot of people where very reluctant to tell me where they live,” Webel said. “Forty-five percent said they were from outside the city and 55 percent were Glenwood residents.”
Webel said the city and county are discussing ways to handle a larger capacity of materials at the site.
To help fund recycling efforts, Kohn said the county probably wouldn’t charge a specific recycling fee or tax, but would utilize rural service dollars from the general fund. The county is also exploring grant opportunities with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“The DNR has grants for recycling - for equipment and facilities, but not for operations,” Kohn said.
Kohn said he’s optimistic the county can have a recycling plan in place by next spring or summer.