HOWARD CITY — A solitary sign is all that remains of Howard City’s recycling site.
The Montcalm County-operated service was shut down Dec. 5 after the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners voted on Nov. 7 to eliminate it due to an increase in county recycling costs, as well as garbage and trash abuse at the site, which was located in the parking lot of Leppink’s Food Center on M-82.
Montcalm County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee discussed the closure during Thursday’s meeting.
“I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls,” said committee member Lonnie Smith. “Most of them were angry calls. There’s a lot of people upset that it was closed, but we knew that was going to happen. We talked to Howard City, they’re going to look at some options. We’ll just have to wait and see if they decide to do something, whether it’s curbside or a locked container.”
Starting on Jan. 1, Montcalm County will be charged $40 per ton of recyclables at the Kent County Recycling and Education Center, hence the need for Montcalm County to close one of its sites to remain sustainable.
Roger Rockburn of Republic Services in Pierson reported a total of 294,060 pounds of recyclables were collected in Howard City this year, the county’s busiest recycling location by far. A total of 1,127,700 pounds of recyclables were collected at all Montcalm County sites this year, slightly down from last year’s total of 1,239,000 pounds, likely due to the closure of Montcalm Township’s recycling site in July, along with Howard City’s site.
Montcalm County recycling sites continue to remain open 24/7 in Carson City, Crystal Township, Edmore, Lakeview and Stanton.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, the committee voted to obtain bids for corrugated cardboard collection.
Recycle World in Montcalm Township previously collected cardboard at the county’s recycling sites, but discontinued the service in September. County commissioners hired Republic Services in Pierson to continue the service on a month-to-month basis starting in September at a cost of $1,000 per month.