STANTON — The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to eliminate Howard City’s free recycling site due to issues of cost and abuse.
The recommendation came from the county’s Solid Waste Management Committee, which met Thursday to discuss funding options for county recycling. The county will be charged a recycling fee by Kent County starting in January, which the county cannot afford.
Howard City is Montcalm County’s busiest and most used recycling site. Its location at Leppink’s is convenient, which may be part of the problem as people dumping trash at the site is a constant problem, with much of the trash coming from outside the community — including Kent, Mecosta and Newaygo counties — due to the U.S. 131 expressway’s proximity to the village.
Officials and residents from Carson City, Crystal Township, Edmore and Stanton attended Thursday’s committee meeting to voice support for the county’s recycling sites in those towns; however, no one from Howard City or Lakeview attended the meeting. The Montcalm Township Board previously voted to shut down its county recycling site this past summer due to years of abuse. Officials in Montcalm Township continue to look into other options for a local recycling service.
After a lengthy discussion on the matter Monday, commissioners unanimously approved eliminating Howard City’s site effective at a date to be determined by Republic Services in Pierson, which will assist Howard City officials in shutting down the service.
A letter from Mark Higgins of Reynolds Township was read in support of keeping Howard City’s recycling site open during Monday’s meeting. No one spoke in support of keeping the site open during public comment.