UCC proposes recycling program for local businesses

While residents in Urbana enjoy a recycling program that picks up their recyclables from the curb, there is no such program for local businesses.

In order to remedy this situation, a voluntary program was proposed to Urbana City Council on Monday that would allow businesses adjacent to residential homes to utilize the city’s Multifamily and Residential curbside program.

“[The program] would only apply to small businesses that are located next to residence,” said Brandon Bowersox, Urbana city council member.

These businesses would pay the same fee for program as residents of $2.50 per month and service would be based on voluntary enrollment. Then they would be able to place their recyclables on the curb just like residents and they would be taken care of.

“If we can help more businesses recycle that’s great,” Bowersox added.

In addition, this program would be fairly easy to implement and efficient seeing as it would be an addition to the existing program. While more complex, broad recycling programs may be realized in the future, this program can serve the community immediately, Bowersox said.

Another important aspect of this program is the sustainability factor. Along with that, people can save money if they recycle more and have less trash, said Charlie Smyth, Urbana city council member.

“I feel I save money by recycling,” he added.

Local businesses want to recycle, but a program does not exist. Instead they have individual contracts with haulers to take care of their waste.

Some businesses that are located next to residents have started informally using the residential program simply by moving their recyclables over “6 inches”, Smyth said.

“I’m just putting what I see in practice into a formal program,” he added.

The city council will further discuss this program at its next meeting on July 13. As soon as the program gets approve by the Council, it will be put into practice, Smyth said.

“It’s just a matter of adding them like we add any new customer,” he added.

There is not expected to be any resistance from the hauling company that runs Urbana’s curbside program.

“It seems that businesses would prefer to have more customers than fewer,” said Dennis Roberts, Urbana city council member.

The program would answer to an existing demand, Smyth said.

“The first rule of recycling is to make it easy,” he added.