NEW FRANKLIN Some changes are coming to recycling locally but also in cities across the U.S.
During the Aug. 15 New Franklin City Council meeting, council members heard from Terry Thompson from Republic Waste about the impact China is having on recycling.
About 40 percent of all recycling China accepts is from the United States. Thompson said China is not accepting as many items as it used to and items are being sent back to the United States.
"The fact of the matter is, recycling is in big trouble," Thompson said.
He said the changes do not relate to anything the president has done and that this has been going on for a while.
"China is not going be the world dumping grounds," Thompson said.
Thompson said a lot of people are not recycling properly as they are placing toasters, vacuum cleaners and diapers in the recycling. Styrofoam and plastic bags also should not be placed in the recycling bin. Thompson said plastic bags can be recycled at grocery stores.
Thompson said all paper is accepted along with cardboard and glass, and bottles and jugs with numbers one and two on the bottom. Items also need to be washed so they don’t contaminate other items in the truck when they are picked up.
"When in doubt, throw it out," Thompson said. "If you aren’t doing it right, don’t do it at all."
Thompson said no one really saw this coming and Republic cannot afford to keep eating the cost. He said there will be more public education on what to recycle.
Thompson encourages people to continue to recycle as there are a lot of jobs at sorting center. He said there is no plan to stop recycling, just finding a way to do it smarter.
Republic is exploring a $1.43 per month additional increase for customers, which would have to be approved by council. Much of New Franklin recycles, Mayor Paul Adamson said.
Adamson said the city is open to ideas from Republic.
In other business Aug. 15, council:
- Approved to enter into an agreement for the purchase and installation of a fire alarm system for the city administration building. During the last meeting, council rejected the higher bid proposal. Council asked to vote on the lowest bid, which came from Video Systems and Security.
- Approved to urge the Ohio Gov. John Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly to invest the state budget surplus in municipalities. Adamson said this legislation came through the Ohio Municipal League. He said municipalities used to get 3.5 percent of the state budget and then the recession hit and that number was lowered to 1.6 percent. Adamson said the city is getting about $400,000 less per-year since 2011. He said he doesn’t know if this legislation will help or not, but would like to see the amount changed back to what it was.
- Withdrew two pieces of legislation in regard to making changes to the primary election. The original piece of legislation would have asked voters to approve moving the primary from September to May. Councilman Jim Cotts introduced another piece of legislation to eliminate primary elections altogether. Cotts said he supports this move as New Franklin hasn’t had a primary in more than 10 years and recently Stow eliminated having primaries. Council President David Stock raised concerns about if more people were to start running for positions. Adamson said he is in favor of keeping the primary in case it is needed. Adamson brought up a recent example of a September primary in Green where four candidates ran for mayor. The top two with the most votes moved on to the November election. During that primary, Dave France got 36 percent of the vote and Gerard Neugebauer got 34 percent. When voters voted in November, they supported Neugebauer over France. After some discussion, Adamson and Cotts withdrew both pieces of legislation and decided to let the Charter Review Commission look at the issue next year and go from there.
- Heard from Adamson that he is still looking into speed bumps along with signage to slow speeders down. He said he is also working on developing a dispatching agreement where the city would partner with Green.
- Entered executive session for personnel and collective bargaining with no action taken.
The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 5 at New Franklin City Hall.