When the recycling transfer station in Harrisville opens for business, Watertown officials should consider sending the city’s recyclable goods there rather than the facility in Jefferson County.
The Development Authority of the North Country began work on the new facility in Lewis County last year. It is expected to become operational later within the next few months. But not everyone will make use of it.
“The concept behind the station … is to have recyclables from St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties brought to the center to be compacted, loaded on trucks and hauled to single-stream recycling facilities in the Utica and Syracuse areas for processing,” a Nov. 10 story in the Watertown Daily Times reported. “Although the facility is available for all three counties, only St. Lawrence and Lewis counties will be taking DANC up on the service at first. Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott A. Gray said in an interview after the ceremony that because his county residents separate their own recyclables instead of single stream and their program continues to at least break even, using the new station doesn’t make sense at this time. For St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, both of which have already gone single stream, trucking their recyclable materials to DANC’s station will cut down on transportation costs to the counties.”
Jefferson County’s facility does not accommodate single-source recycling. So residents here must separate their recyclable goods before leaving them out for municipal collectors.
Watertown could well save money by using the plant in Harrisville once it opens. This would allow residents to bundle their recyclable goods into the same bin without having to separate them. This process has shown time and again to increase participation in recycling programs.
The city should break ranks and begin sending its recyclable goods to DANC’s facility in Harrisville when it becomes available. This would start applying sufficient pressure to Jefferson County to catch up with Lewis and St. Lawrence counties in offering single-stream recycling. More items will be recycled as money is being saved, and who wouldn’t appreciate having their expenses cut?