The city of Dothan is in the planning phase of a pilot program to bring curbside recycling back to city streets. City residents terminated the previous program due to limited participation.
Reduce, reuse, recycle; and to take part in any of those steps, Dothan residents currently have to make a trip on their own to one of the city’s three recycling drop off points.
The bins at these points are sometimes filled to the brim with recyclable materials.
There is a significant amount of materials in the bins at Westgate, and that shows promise for the city, but they hope to make the process that much easier.
Dothan City Manager Mike West said, "We start a trial or pilot project in various areas in the city starting in January, and run that for six months and use about four months of data collected."
While many will welcome the idea of being able to recycle without hauling the trash themselves to a bin, some local recyclers think that for the plan to work, ease of participation isn't the biggest worry.
Douglas Smith, with Martin Environmental Services, said, "The only way you're going to get the private sector to do it, they're going to need to make it mandatory. I don't think they can get enough volunteer people to do it to make it effective for the city of Dothan.”
According to local recyclers, the price for some recycled goods climb more and more every year. Currently, the price for cardboard and white paper can be over $150 dollars a ton, when it used to be $50 dollars.
West added, "Recycling has to take place on the same day when people put out the garbage, that is when they take the garbage out they realize it's recycling day too."
Smith concluded, “Recycling is the best thing they can do if they can get people to do. With the landfill spaces we're running into in the city of Dothan and in the future, recycling is the best way you're going to handle it."
The people at Martin Enviromental Services said the recycling market is pretty strong right now, but it's no easy undertaking on the city wide scale.
A total of $280,000 dollars has been budgeted in case the pilot program is approved.