Recycling pickup could become a reality in Sunbury if village officials can reach a deal with Rumpke, the company that contracts to collect trash in the community.
Village Administrator Dave Martin told council members at their meeting Wednesday, April 17, that a number of residents have expressed interest in recycling pickup.
"But to be cost-effective, this (program) must be mandatory," he said.
In the past, village officials have looked at a recycling program that would allow residents to participate or opt out. But the cost always was too high, village leaders said.
A mandatory recycling program for all residents would average about $2.50 to $3 a month per household, Martin estimated. Sunbury is a village of about 4,400 people.
"I'm all for investigating this," said Mayor Tommy Hatfield. "I think there's a lot of support for it, but there's also people who don't want to raise their trash price."
Martin plans to invite a Rumpke representative to council's May 15 meeting to discuss recycling.
In 2012, Rumpke raised trash-hauling rates in Sunbury by 2 percent, increasing the cost of trash and yard-waste pickup to $14.60 a month for the typical household.
At that time, the village checked into options for a recycling program, but no action was taken. The current trash-hauling contract with Rumpke ends in 2014.
Council members supported listening to Rumpke on May 15, with Councilman Joe Gochenour saying it's a good idea to explore recycling options and see what Rumpke has to offer.
Martin also said some area jurisdictions have shown an interest in creating a trash district with Sunbury, which possibly could reduce costs for all of the jurisdictions.
However, when this topic has been brought up in the past, the reaction from some residents is that they don't want to partner with other entities but want Sunbury to keep control of such services.
A bridge too far
Boy Scout Zac Moore's Eagle Scout youth-service project may have hit a major roadblock.
Moore told Sunbury council a year and a half ago that he wanted to partner with the village to put in a 50-foot-long pedestrian bridge over state Route 37 to connect the village cemetery with the Methodist church across the street.
Moore had pointed out that pedestrian safety is an issue along that roadway.
While Moore has raised about $11,500 for the project in the past year through donations and a communitywide pizza sale, he found out at the April 17 meeting that the cost of the project could be as high as $76,000.
That estimate came from Village Engineer Wes Hall and includes the cost of a pre-fabricated metal bridge.
Council members and village officials told Moore they support his idea, but costs appear too high for it to be feasible.
Councilman Scott Weatherby urged him to look at less-costly options. That could include building sidewalks in the area at a fraction of the cost of erecting a bridge.
"This is a permanent structure the village could have for many years to come," Moore said.
However, he agreed he never anticipated such a significant cost. Most service projects are less than $15,000, he said.
"I applaud you," Councilwoman Jennifer Witt said. "One (other) drawback ... is it so far off the beaten path that few people would use it?"
While the bridge still is a possibility if enough money is found, Moore agreed scaling back is likely.
"I hate the cost," he said. "I'll come back (to council) one more time and see what we can do. If it's not what the village wants, I can understand."