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Residents want recycling

by Christy Chalmers

Douglas County’s recycling programs may not make much money, but Jane Holm says the return is invaluable.

“We appreciate having it right in our neighborhood,” says the Gardnerville Ranchos resident. “It’s not paying for itself yet, but we’re creating habits that are good habits.”

Holm was interested enough in promoting those habits to attend Thursday’s Douglas County commission meeting and urge the board to maintain “Big Blue,” the recycling container at Scarselli Elementary School.

She was joined by Scarselli recycling coordinator Kris Freitas, who said she hopes to see the program expanded.

“We’re planting the seed for our future,” said Freitas. “I would love to see this at other schools.”

So would a few others who testified about the benefits of recycling. The exchange may result in a new look at recycling and how it could be expanded in Douglas County, as well as efforts to bring back “Big Brown,” a recycling bin that was previously stationed at Smith’s grocery store.

The commission agreed to spend $2,000 through June 2000 to maintain Big Blue, with another $3,000 to pay for a truck that picks up recyclable materials in other areas of the county.

Office paper recycling efforts will be suspended or left to individual businesses to maintain because of funding concerns, but state and local officials agreed they want to increase Douglas County’s recycling options.

Tom Cook, a Gardnerville town board member, said he gets numerous calls from residents interested in recycling.

“Don’t let this go to the back burner,” he told the commission. “There’s a lot of things we should be looking at.”

Ron Kruse, a member of the Indian Hills General Improvement District board, suggested residents should be polled about their recycling preferences.

“We have an opportunity to see how much the comunity wants to back recycling, on a communitywide basis,” he noted.

Commissioner Don Miner said that support would be easier to garner if self-supporting, easy-to-use programs can be created.

“I would sense we would have full support if the other players supported it,” he said, referring to the school district, towns and other entities.

Les Gould, supervisor for the solid waste branch of the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, said Douglas now averages a 12 percent recycling rate, on par with the rest of the state. He said the state will help restore the Big Brown container and expand recycling efforts.

Meanwhile, county and town leaders said they will work with Douglas Disposal, Inc., which provides trash pickup for most of the county, on recycling programs.

n Rate increase OK’d. Some Douglas Disposal customers will see an 8.73 percent rate increase starting in January.

The county commission unanimously approved the hike Thursday. No one spoke against it.

The increase won’t affect customers with 90-gallon tote containers because that service was instated less than a year ago.

Customers with 90-gallon containers pay $15.25 a month. Rates for those with 40- to 45-gallon cans will be $12.90 a month, or $8.55 for one small can. Rates vary depending on the number of cans per household.

Commercial customers would pay $3.15 for a 30 to 32-gallon can, $17.98 for a two-yard container and $150.05 for a six-yard drop box, with higher rates for larger containers.