FORT SMITH -- City directors voted Tuesday to hire two firms in a move that will restore full recycling services to the city for the first time in nearly three years.
The city Board of Directors approved a resolution to enter into a two-year agreement with two Missouri companies, 3rd Rock Recycling LLC of Webb City, Mo., and Pen Sales LLC of Kansas City, Mo., to provide recycling services. The city has the option to extend the contract for a third year.
The vote was 4-1, with City Director George Catsavis voting against the resolution. Two directors, Kevin Settle and Andre Good, were absent.
City directors said they hope the agreement will lead eventually to the city handling its own recycling and reaping the financial benefits.
Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman said in a memorandum to directors that after the agreement is signed, Fort Smith, 3rd Rock and Pen Sales will begin to work on acquiring a single-stream sorting machine for the recycling operation. If the machine is purchased and the material is sorted locally, Dingman wrote, the city would not pay for 3rd Rock to take the recyclables but 3rd Rock and Pen Sales would pay the city $10 a ton for the material.
Securing and locating the sorting machine would take six to 12 months, Dingman said in the memo.
Tuesday's vote was the first time since September 2014 that the city had a recycling contract. Since September 2014, Green Source Recycling of Clarksville accepted a part of the city's recycling but refused to take any material as of June 2016. Since then, all recycling material collected by the city went into the city landfill.
City sanitation customers who have been separating their recyclable materials and faithfully rolling the containers to the curb each week didn't learn until last month that their recycling efforts were wasted.
Dingman said 3rd Rock and Pen Sales have worked together in other locations. Under the agreement, 3rd Rock will gather, bale and transport Fort Smith's recyclables to Pen Sales, which will market the material.
According to the proposed agreement, 3rd Rock and Pen Sales will have 30 days from the execution of the agreement to acquire a location and begin to accept the city's recycling.
Mike Wilson with Marck Industries Inc. of Cassville, Mo., asked directors Tuesday to consider his company's proposal submitted earlier this year to provide recycling services for the city. He said he could provide it cheaper than 3rd Rock/Pen Sales and would be willing to move his recycling operation out of downtown.
City directors were critical of Marck's proposal last month because it was located in downtown and would hamper efforts to revitalize the downtown area.
Metro on 06/21/2017