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Residents present recycling changes
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SOUTH WAYNE - The South Wayne village board voted Monday, June 10, to postpone the effective date of its dissolution with the Town of Wayne recycling unit to give the town and village boards time to meet together and discuss costs.

One village resident, Rebecca Graham, said she was pleased with the outcome of the meeting Monday.

"At least people are actually talking to each other," she said.

The board had passed the original resolution on April 8, removing itself as a member of the Town's Recycling Unit effective June 1.

However, village residents signed a petition against the move, and the board gave approval for them to develop a way to improve the jointly owned recycling center.

Fourteen citizens, along with Melodie Hawkins, village president, and Steve Lee, township president, met June 2 and developed a plan that they said will increase profitability; eliminate deficits; and assist with ongoing maintenance costs of the recycling center.

Lee Ann Melland presented the proposed changes to the board June 10, with about 30 other residents in attendance.

The changes include an increase in fees for trash, ranging from 25 cents to one dollar per bag; increased education on recycling for residents; fencing to secure scrap metals and other items; security cameras to prevent illegal dumping and illegal removal of metals; and enforcement of penalties for littering and dumping. The citizens also wanted public notices of board actions and discussions that arise during the improvement process.

Hawkins said "garbage is paying for itself," but the recycling operation was losing about $5,000 per year.

The $1.25 per bag fee for trash is "more than taking care of the cost to get rid of the garbage," she added. "We're already subsidizing the recycling part. We need changes to cover the costs on the recycling side."

The board voted 4-0-1, with Allen Melland abstaining, to allow the request of four people to speak about the issue at the meeting.

Diana Krebs, clerk for the Town of Wayne, said a change of waste management service providers could reduce the price of trash containers. "Getting the dumpster prices down and increasing the prices of bag, we can whip recycling," she added.

Trash expenses could be reduced also, if people increased their recycling, she added. Payment for recycled items hit rock bottom in 2009, Krebs said, but are now coming back up.

Graham said she wanted to see the money paid for trash fees stay in South Wayne, rather than being "shipped out to Platteville, which takes money out of the community." She said costs for the services could go up to $16 per month for each residence, if the village contracts with a privately-owned service provider.

She also said she wants people to be better educated about what items can be recycled, because the information now being provided is out of date.