The Cabell County Solid Waste Authority is trying to pull everyone it can together in an effort to save its recycling program.
At the same time, one of the largest entities involved, the city of Huntington, may be striking out on its own.
Mark Buchanan, director of the solid waste authority, said the program provider, Rumpke, is asking for twice what it is paid now to continue the program, which provides eight sites throughout the county – four in the city of Huntington – where residents can take recyclable materials.
Buchanan said when the time came in early spring to renegotiate the authority’s contract with Rumpke, the board of directors decided to put the program out to bid instead.
Buchanan is trying to organize a meeting with the mayors of the municipalities that were such strong supporters of the program in the first place.
He said Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum and Milton Mayor Tom Canterbury want to meet and see what they can do to extend the program.
But the key is Huntington, he said.
“They’re the biggest player in all of this, to be honest,” Buchanan said. “They have four sites and the biggest bulk of what we recycle comes from Huntington.”
Mayor Steve Williams said Monday evening that Huntington may take this as an opportunity to develop its own citywide recycling plan.
Williams said there needs to be a culture change within city government and the city itself to embrace recycling as a normal part of daily life.
“Any active city you visit, you see an active recycling program,” he said. “We just don’t have that here, and I think it’s something we need to undertake.
Follow the reporter @BenFieldsHD.