- Lafayette, LA is considering ending its recycling contract with Progressive Waste Solutions (which bought Recycling Foundation, the city's prior hauler) to go with Republic, which currently collects the city’s garbage.
- Glass would no longer be picked up, though every household would get a recycling cart. Currently only 19,000 of 38,000 eligible households have one as they are doled out by request, according to The Advocate.
- The current monthly recycling fee of $2.40 per household would hold until November 2017, and once the rates are subject to an increase, they would be capped at an annual hike of 8%, with the same cap applying to the extended trash service.
If Lafayette goes with Republic it will mean big changes for the city, which began with Recycling Foundation in the 1980s when the recycling program first launched. The new no-glass rule is one that Public Works Director Tom Carroll regrets.
"We all want to be green. We all want to be environmentally conscious. But there is just no market for it," he said, as reported in The Advocate.
But the city is hoping that getting carts out to every resident — which will double the number put out to the curb now — will be the start of a new culture that the several decade-running recycling program hoped to encourage. The city has not been able to motivate half of the eligible residents to recycle, despite that they pay for the service. In fact a few years ago, the city had to come down hard on some residents just to get them to sign up for trash service.
Last year the city was considering a plan that would have expanded recycling even further — offering it to rural communities and apartment complexes — but the proposed contract does not offer this option; it’s just too expensive in rural communities and with apartments, there’s the liability concern as haulers would have to go onto private properties. But apartment dwellers in Lafayette without curbside service will be able to support recycling if they chose, as they will have access to a drop off site.
The City-Parish Council will vote on the contract April 5.