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Cochise County to amend recycling program

COCHISE COUNTY – With a decline in demand for recycled goods, Cochise County will be doing away with their free recycling programs starting Sept. 12.

County officials say this move should help save ratepayer funds as the changes are also supposed to help keep the current tipping fees stable with the current system for recycling subsidized.

“Unfortunately, market conditions and the cost of transporting and processing materials has resulted in the County – and the users of the solid waste system – having to subsidize the recycling program,” Public Works Director Marty Haverty said. “In the long run, this will not be sustainable, with costs likely to continue to rise.”

Authorities say the main reason for this change is due to the fact that vendors are no longer buying recycled material, making the free recycling programs no longer feasible for Cochise County.

Starting Sept. 12, residents who drop off their recyclables at a Cochise County transfer station will be charged the normal tipping fees, detailed below. As for anyone who drops recyclables at a rural transfer station in Double Adobe, Dragoon, Elfrida, Portal, San Simon, St. David, Sunizona, Sunsites and Tombstone, they will be charged a fixed fee, depending on the size of load as follows:

  • Per bag (35 gallons or smaller) – $2 each
  • Car, Van or Station Wagon – $4 each
  • Pick-up or single-axle trailer (up to two cubic yards in volume) – $7 each
  • 55-gallon barrels/containers – $3 each
  • Any load over 2 cubic yards in volume – $6.40 c/y

Those who drop-off at an urban transfer station in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Willcox and the Western Regional Landfill will be charged a flat $64 per ton of recyclable material.

“The average resident will pay just a few dollars, based on what we currently see brought into our transfer stations,” Haverty said. “We will continue to monitor market conditions and, in the meantime, we will continue to aggressively recycle as many materials as we can.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was written by News 4 Tucson’s Adrian Ford.

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