Editor’s note: The following is the first of a two-part series.
COLUMBIA CITY — Going green seems to be a growing trend.
The need to reduce, reuse and recycle has become a common practice for many areas and Whitley County has fallen in line.
In 2009, the county’s once dual-stream recycle program morphed into a one-container system for all recyclables that now services almost 14,000 homes.
For six-and-a-half years, Jorell Tucker has overseen the Whitley County Solid Waste Management District.
He has had a hand in structuring one of the most unique county-wide recycling programs in Indiana.
“There is only a couple of areas that do what we do,” Tucker said. “I don’t think residents really understand what this program really offers.”
When the county issued a $41 mandatory user fee as charged on property tax bills, Tucker said some residents were not happy with the additional cost, but now that the program has been in place, tax payers seem to appreciate the recycling system.
“I still have people who move into the county or some who haven’t really paid attention to their tax bill before call me,” said Tucker. “They want to know what the fee is and what it includes. Sometimes they ask how they can stop the service to eliminate the $41, but paying for the service is mandatory. However, participation is optional.”
Other municipalities throughout Indiana offer a recycling program that requires participants to separate recyclables into specific containers. Whitley County residents do not have that obligation. One receptacle is used for every recyclable item.
Typically a recycling program is managed by a municipality, not across the county.
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