The Troy City Council is hoping additional signage and a surveillance camera will deter people from leaving garbage at the two large recycling boxes near Sunset Mart on the west end of town.
The councilors took the action at Wednesday’s regular council meeting after a short discussion about the ongoing issue of people dumping trash at the site. City Clerk Rhonda Case said she posted photos of garbage left on the ground at the recycling area to the Troy Facebook page to raise public awareness. Included in the heap of trash was a television, Case said.
“It was disgusting,” she said. “… It was out of control. I mean just absolutely ridiculous.”
There are several signs on the two bins outlining which recyclables are accepted in the boxes. Case said Thursday that the illegal dumping of garbage at the recycling area has been an issue since the bins were placed there, which Latah County Solid Waste Coordinator Amanda Bashaw estimated was about six years ago.
“I just can’t believe it gets that abused, I guess,” said Councilor Bill Abbott.
Case said she checks on the recycling bins at least every other day. When they are near capacity, she contacts Latah Sanitation Inc. to pick up the recyclables and take them to the Moscow Recycling Center.
Case said the recycling area is frequently used, as she calls to schedule the boxes to be picked up at least once a week. Abbott said he typically sees vehicles pulled over at the recycling site nicely sorting their recyclables in the correct parts of the bins.
“It takes just a few to make the whole thing a damn mess,” Councilor Mike Yenney said after the council meeting.
The agenda item asked if the city wanted to continue to offer the service, but no one made the pitch to get rid of the bins.
“I’d hate to lose it,” Yenney told the other councilors.
Yenney said he does not go to the recycling area often, but when he does, items like cardboard and newspapers are typically on the ground. He attributed some of the mess to residents taking their garbage that doesn’t fit in their roll carts to the recycling site.
“It’s weird, too, because most of the people you’d think would make a mess wouldn’t take the time to take their recycling down there,” Abbott said.
Abbott said he hated to see the curbside recycling program go away but the recycling boxes are still just a short distance away.
“If we lose this, and I have to haul all my recycling to Moscow, it’s going to be in the landfill,” Abbott said.
Bashaw said Thursday the Latah County rural recycling program was implemented in 2010 for all rural cities, except Troy, which continued its curbside program for a few more years before getting the bins that are currently used. She said the bins in the county’s rural towns are intended to be used by city and county residents, who pay for the service.
Bashaw said it cost each resident outside Moscow about 16 cents per month between March and August to pay for the rural recycling service. She said the cost is based on how many trips LSI makes to collect the recyclables and the quantity of materials collected.
Bashaw said she thinks some of the trash left on the ground and inside the recycling bins are from people outside the county. She said she has spoken off and on with Latah County commissioners about placing cameras at the rural cities’ recycling sites to prevent abuse and recycling contamination.
Bashaw said there has been no contamination in recycling boxes the last few months and she was largely unaware of the illegal dumping in Troy.
“It’s super important that all of us government entities work together to reach out to educate the public and try to help them understand the whole process,” Bashaw said.
In other business, the council asked Case to see if grant funding was available to purchase radar speed signs to potentially be installed in town.
Two signs, not including shipping, would cost $5,150, Case said. Portable signs are more expensive.
Case said Thursday the signs, which indicate how fast drivers are going and advise them to slow down if they exceed the speed limit, would likely be placed on either side of Main Street where the speed limit drops to 25 mph, or on Big Meadow Road.
Both streets have problems with speeding drivers, she said.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.