Town Residents Must Buy Bags

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FARMVILLE – The Town of Farmville is no longer providing residents with the blue plastic recycling bags.

Recycling will continue but residents must purchase their own plastic bags, either white bags or clear plastic. These plastic bags can be purchased at several different local stores, including grocery stores.

The blue plastic bags are no longer available to the Town, according to Town Manager Gerald Spates.

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“We can no longer get the blue bags,” he explained to council members. “We have to go to clear bags.”

Spates made the recommendation to Town Council that the Town “require individuals to buy the bags.”

Council readily agreed.

Requiring residents to purchase their own recycling bags will save the Town money but it will also address those who, Spates said, took advantage of the free bags.

“I suggest we do away with the bag program. I think it's abused,” Spates told council members.

“Will it save us money?” asked council member Dr. Edward I. Gordon.

“Sixteen hundred bucks,” Spates replied.

When a council member asked Spates if some residents took advantage of the free blue bags to get extras to use as regular trash bags, rather than buying their own trash bags, the town manager answered, “Well, I don't know what they use them for but I'll give you one (example).”

One resident, he told council members, picked up “14 packages of blue bags in one year.”

And there are 20 blue bags in each package.

“So that's 280 bags,” Spates said.

The Town picks up the bags of recyclables twice a month.

When a council member asked why regular black trash bags can't be used, Spates explained that would invariably lead to trash being put in the bags, along with the recyclables, and it is impossible for Town workers to see through the black plastic to know what is trash and what is recyclable.

Hence the Town's decision to require clear or white plastic bags, because they allow Town workers to see, or more easily determine in the case of white bags, what is trash, what is recyclable materials and what kind of recyclables.

Residents separate paper from plastic, each going in a separate plastic bag.

And they will continue to do so, buying their own clear or white plastic bags for their recyclables.

“I can't get the blue bags,” Spates repeated.

“That's the perfect excuse,” said council member Tommy Pairet, “to do away with the blue bags.”

When asked by Town Attorney Donald C. Blessing what is to stop someone from using one clear bag for trash and another clear bag for recycling, Spates answered, “because your clear bag for your trash goes into your trash can. And if you put trash out there at the street in a clear bag we ain't picking it up.”

The bags of recyclables are placed beside the big green Town-provided roll-out trash cans.