CASS COUNTY — You will have to go a little further to recycle starting in April. The big green recycle bins in Atlantic and other locations throughout the county will be taken back to the Cass County Landfill as of March 31 after the Cass County Environmental Control Agency Board voted to discontinue their use last week.
Board members said the difficult decision was made after lots of discussion involving several factors — the biggest being cost.
Revenues from marketing recyclables had been declining for some time, but when markets in China stopped taking recycled materials from all foreign countries, almost all markets dried up and prices plummeted.
The board said the income from recycling in the past fiscal year was $27,000, while costs were $125,000.
“It simply would not be financially responsible to continue with a program with such a negative return,” board members said in a release.
Board members also said that the efforts of Cass County residents to recycle have not gone unnoticed, and while the bins will be gone, residents can still continue to recycle by bringing their recyclables to the landfill facility during business hours at no charge.
All the boxes will be in the same place, and residents won’t have to deal with the frustration of bringing in items to find the bin overflowing.
Communities and businesses are being encouraged to seek other solutions for recycling options, and some already have begun.
“We understand there will be questions regarding this decision, and we encourage you to reach out to the director at the Landfill, Brandi Mericle, or the board members listed below,” board members said.
The board consists of Pat McCurdy (Atlantic), Kathy Somers (Atlantic), Mark O’Brien (County Supervisor), Steve Green (County Supervisor), John Knutsen (Anita), Virginia Coughlin (Cumberland), Carol Preston (Griswold), Ryan Lockwood/Betty Auten (Lewis), Micah Lee (Massena) and Randy Baxter (Marne).
The bins throughout the county will be removed during the last week of March. The locations will be cleaned, weather permitting, and all materials left there after March 31 will be the responsibility of the property owner.
Winter hours for the landfill are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can be reached at (712) 249-8966