The transfer station will have a new operator beginning Aug. 1 creating some change in the way citizens recycle.

Last week, county administrator Jack Hobbs and board of supervisors chairman Clay Jackson signed a new contract for the transfer station. A Material Recovery Facility (AMRF), a subsidiary of Updike, was chosen from among the applicants as the company with the best proposal.

Originally, the county signed a contract in 1998 with Waste Management. At the time, the company handled the construction of the transfer station at a fixed cost of $665,000. Operation of the station was then $120,500 annually with disposal costing $23.60 per ton and transportation $11.90 per ton. Recycling was provided at a break even cost.

In January 2013, the operation cost was increased to $172,800 annually with disposal costing $23.50 per ton and transportation $23 per ton. In both contract iterations, rates were adjusted annually based on fuel prices and changes in the consumer price index. In the 2013 iteration, recycling was still break even.

According to a report released in December, the county paid $422,173 annually in fiscal year 2018 to Waste Management for the transfer station. This included $178,776 annually in the management fee, $112,434 annually in transportation fees and $130,963 annually in disposal fees. At the time, the county was not paying for recycling.

The report stated that approximately 25 percent of the solid waste management program is funded by the fees collected, while the remaining 75 percent is funded through the general fund.

The contract with Waste Management expired June 30, but was extended for one month through July 31 at a slightly higher rate including a fee for recycling. As a result of price increases in the cost of recycling, the county suspended its household waste recycling program July 1.

However, recycling will begin again Aug. 1, but with some changes.

The new contract with AMRF is for an operation cost of $150,000 annually with a cost of $46 per ton for recycling, $23 per ton for hauling and $23 per ton for disposal. As with the Waste Management contract, adjustments are allowed for changes in market rates, the consumer price index and fuel costs.

Hobbs said the details of the projected budget impact are still being worked out, but will be brought before the supervisors in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, director of facilities and maintenance Roger Berry said under the new contract, recycling will be back but with some changes. Gone will be single stream recycling. Instead, citizens will need to separate out their materials into different categories: glass; cardboard; and co-mingled items including newspaper, shredded paper, mixed paper, aluminum and metal cans and plastic including milk jugs and water bottles. Plastic bags will not be allowed to be recycled. Berry said all items will need to be dumped into their respective bins. The process for dropping off trash will remain the same as will the user fees associated with the transfer station.

Berry said he plans to have the containers labeled with what is allowed in each and flyers will be circulated to update citizens on the changes which will occur Aug. 1.

The contract with AMRF has an initial five-year term with the option to renew three times for five years each. Renewals are automatic unless the county or the company provides 180 days written notice.

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