And while the proposed ordinance makes no mention of single-family residences, it does extend to apartment complexes and fraternities.
A draft of the ordinance under consideration defines “commercial customers” as “structures that house more than four families or businesses that are otherwise engaged in profit, nonprofit or public service activities.”
Structures used as hotels, motels, apartments, fraternity and sorority houses, churches, hospitals, schools and nursing homes all fit within the guidelines of the recycling mandate.
“I can simply not comply with the recycling” ordinance as currently written, area rental property manager Mike Power told commissioners at the Tuesday meeting.
Power called it discrimination, saying the ordinance favors homeowners over renters. He also called it too costly a mandate, especially during a recession, and too difficult to enforce.
“It’s impossible to control the behavior of 1,500 people,” Power said, referring to apartment complex renters.
Commissioners, though, countered that the ordinance isn’t intended to force apartment managers or business owners to, in turn, force their respective renters and employees to recycle.
Commissioner Kathy Hoard said the ordinance just requires that employers and landlords provide recycling options.
Employers and landlords might have to file a recycling plan with the county Solid Waste Department. They also might have to make available to employees and landlords recycling collection bins as well as recycling information and guidelines, according to the ordinance draft.
“This is a very good thing for the town,” said Commissioner Ed Robinson. “It is a small bit of work.”
The benefits of recycling, though, include prolonging the useful life of the county landfill by dumping into it much less waste.
Still, commissioners worried about some language in the ordinance, specifically the use of the word “mandatory.” They voted to review the ordinance and consider it again in September or October.
Though most commissioners spoke in favor of the recycling plan that hopes to reach a solid waste diversion goal of 60 percent by 2018, Robinson failed to convince his peers to immediately approve the ordinance as is and then fix it later.
“It’s not going to be as hard as the panicked responses I hear” to start a large-scale recycling program, Robinson said
Source: Athens-Banner Herald
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