Augusta's recycling future in the air as commissioners to debate finances
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- With the future of recycling in Augusta looking like a thing of the past, we want to know more.
Has recycling ever been a priority? Are there any alternatives? How much has the city lost by keeping the recycling program?
By the city’s account, only around 20 to 30 percent of residents recycle.
“We need to look at whether we can simplify that process and practices in place,” District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett said.
Another factor is poverty and day-to-day priorities – if you ask William Sherrill.
“Right now, I’m unemployed,” Sherrill said. “I have health issues, so that’s more important to me than anything else in this moment.”
Although this may be the reality for many, it's taking a toll on Augusta. Each year, the city loses nearly $500,000 because of it. Now they're looking to follow in the steps of others. Right now, many Georgia counties have not done away with their recycling altogether but they have changed how they do it. Like some no longer accept plastic. Others are forced to take more items to the landfill than ever before.
It’s the same issue here in Augusta.
“Unfortunately, it is going to hurt,” Garrett said. “But as I was saying earlier, we’re already sending over half of our recycled material to the landfill already.”
While most leaders say it’s important to sustain the earth, they claim they need to sustain Augusta’s recycling finances first.