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.