Stefanie Pascua

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

At the Eudora City Council meeting Monday night, The Council passed an initiative that brings curbside recycling to the city of Eudora.

By unanimous consent, the Council authorized Honey Creek Disposal, the cities current waste hauler, to offer a voluntary curbside recycling program.

For those that choose to be a part of the program, the cost will be $5 per month and it will added onto your bill for utilities that you receive from the city. Honey Creek will provide one 65 gallon container to be used exclusively for recycling. This is similar in size to the container people use currently for the standard trash pickup. The containers will have a yellow lid and it will be marked on the top with what materials can and cannot be recycled. A seocnd 65 gallon container can be obtained for an additional $1.50 per month.

“We are excited about bring curbside recycling to the city” Kevin Weldon said.  “This will be a great opportunity.”

The recycling program is scheduled to begin April 1.  Residents of Eudora will be receiving information in the mail about the recycling program and you will be able to sign up either at City Hall or via Honey Creek Disposal once the program is ready to launch.

Honey Creek will also, pending School Board approval,  be taking over the school recycling program that Defenbaugh currently facilitates.  The school recycling program is where bins are placed at all the schools and on the grounds of the old school at 9th and Main St. The money the school receives from the recycling program, goes into various district student award programs and club activities.

A list of exactly what materials can and cannot be recycled will be sent with the information for curbside recycling.

Also discussed along with this initiative, is the future of other small organizations such as Curbcheck Recycling, operated by Stephanie Pascua. The City Council deemed that a small business that pickup and simply drop off recyclable material in drop bins located in the city not be considered as “recyclers” and be treated similar to those as mowing, home cleaning or newspaper delivery services and thus exempt since they are not engaging in the disposal of waste materials.

Prior to this ruling last night, Pascua sent a note to her clients on Monday, stating that she was ending her operations as of Dec 31, 2010.

When Pascua was asked after the ruling last night if she was back in business now”, Pascua stated that “It looks like I am.”

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In part one of the story about trash hauling services in the city of Eudora, we talked about the commercial waste hauling aspect. Today, we will look at the second issue facing the city: curbside recycling.

Stephanie Pascua has operated a curbside recycling business in Eudora since the summer of 2010. This operation, unknown to her when she started the business, was in violation of the exclusive contract the city maintains with Honey Creek Disposal Service based out of Tonganoxie, KS.  When Pascua discovered this violation, she went to city officials to determine how best to proceed. Pascua’s operation was allowed to continue pending the Council reviewing the matter and deciding how to handle recycling issues in Eudora.

Pascua uses her pick-up truck to collect recyclable material and deposit it in the bins operated by Deffenbaugh Industries. Deffenbaugh, through a partnership program with the Eudora School District, gives money to the school district that is used to support the various awards programs and club activities run by each school.

The residential waste hauling contract that is currently in place does not specifically speak to the handling of recyclable materials. In 2007 when the contract was negotiated, Honey Creek Disposal approached Cheryl Beatty, the Eudora City Administrator at the time, with some proposals about recycling options. According to Kevin Weldon, owner of Honey Creek Disposal, Beatty was resistant to any type of curbside recycling program due to a fear of possible costs for residents.  The current contract is scheduled to expire in 2012.

Weldon went on to get city officials to agree to him placing recycling bins near the Eudora water treatment plant, at his own expense. Weldon spent approximately $70,000 on those bins.

Weldon thinks recycling should be handled by one specific hauler. “Her heart is in the right place and I know she is wanting to do the right thing”. He went on to mention that proper licensing, insurance and liability should all be factors in running an operation like this. “I’d like to work with her in some capacity in the future”.

At the City Council meeting on Monday, this issue was brought up in discussions on waste hauling.  Similar to Deffenbaugh Industries and their commercial waste hauling ventures in Eudora, Pascua could be subject to fines for her operation. The City Council, as with Deffenbaugh Industries and their commercial waste hauling business, is not looking at imposing those fines for her operation. Several of the City Council members said during the discussion, that the City Council is not interested in shutting down a local business, but they have concerns about the exclusive residential waste hauling contract the city has with Honey Creek and the want to make sure they honor that contract.

The Council has decided on no action at this time and is in the process of reviewing the contract further and is looking as to what the options are and where they can go from here.

Pascua did not return phone calls for this article.

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