City eyes transfer station changes

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By David Giuliani

The city wants to change the way it does business at its solid waste transfer station, a top official says.

City Manager Timothy Dodge said last week that the city is reviewing the charges at the station to come up with a way to deter people from dumping their garbage illegally.

For instance, he said the city may allow solid waste customers to throw any additional trash — such as items that don’t fit in rollout containers — for free at the station. They would have to show proof that they are city customers.

If somebody came to the transfer station as a building contractor, that person would have to open an account with the city, Dodge said.

“We’re trying to make the transfer station more inviting for the community. The way the rates are structured are a deterrent as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We have to clean up those illegal dumps.”

In another development, the city’s contract with A/C Recycling is ending Saturday. That’s because it was no longer cost-effective for a private sector business to handle such a service, officials said.

“The cost of recycling has gone through the roof,” said Alvin Jiron, the city’s solid waste director.

The city entered the contract with A/C Recycling a couple of years ago. It is owned by the director’s wife, Charlene Jiron. As such, the contract has been overseen by the city manager, not the director, to avoid a conflict of interest.

“In my discussions with her, she expressed that she wasn’t looking at extending the contract. I wasn’t looking to extend it either. We’re looking at doing the recycling in-house as a service to the community,” Dodge said. “It’ll be a break-even operation doing it in-house.”

The transfer station accepts a number of recyclables, including cardboard, newspaper, magazines, plastic, aluminum, carpet padding and appliances. It doesn’t accept glass, but the city is looking for a company that will accept glass, Jiron said.

Also, the station won’t take refrigerators, unless it has certification that Freon has been removed.