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McLean County Panel Rejects Cost Sharing For Drop-Off Recycling

Recycling cart
A McLean County Board committee has struck down a proposed agreement with Bloomington and Normal to share the cost of a drop-off recycling program.

A McLean County government panel doesn't want the county to help fund a drop-off recycling program.
The County Board Land Use and Development Committee on Thursday rejected a cost-sharing agreement with Bloomington and Normal. The county would have paid $65,000 in the first year. That would be one-third of the $195,000 price tag.

McLean County Land Use Committee virtual meeting
Credit Eric Stock / WGLT
The McLean County Board Land Use and Development Committee voted 4-2 to reject a proposed cost-sharing agreement with Bloomington and Normal for drop-off recycling.

The costs would shift in the second and third years of the pact based on who is using the recycling program.

The vote fell along party lines. The four Republicans on the committee voted "no." The two Democrats voted "yes."

Committee member William Friedrich said he doesn't believe rural residents use the service much, and the smaller communities pay for their own recycling.

“All the cities, villages and towns within the county are doing their part and I just don’t think we should blanket everybody with this,” Friedrich said.

Committee member Elizabeth Johnston said the cost of 38 cents per resident per year is reasonable, even if not everyone takes advantage of the program.

“Each county office is not utilized by all citizens equally,” Johnston said. “This is about providing a service to people who do not have access to recycling.”

County administrator Camille Rodriguez told the panel that county staff backed the cost-sharing agreement “not only just for keeping refuse out of landfills, but because it is something that looking forward strategically, it’s a benefit to many in McLean County, even outside of the municipal areas.”

Rodriguez noted the Town of Normal has solely covered the cost of the recycling program.

Committee member Jim Soeldner said he supported the agreement, but he proposed the county pitch in 15% of the costs in the first year. The motion died because no one else expressed support for that idea.

According to a survey which the Ecology Action Center submitted to the committee, 30% of drop-box recycling users live outside of Bloomington-Normal and about 5% of users come from outside McLean County.

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