Virginia's Southeaster Public Service Authority Looks to Automated Curbside Recycling

Chesapeake, VA - The staff of the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA) has presented to the board of directors a plan to begin a fully-automated curbside recycling program.

Recycling became an issue for SPSA due to the need to replace an aging fleet of vehicles that SPSA presently is utilizing for its curbside recycling program. The cost to replace the trucks was roughly $2 million, and SPSA thought it prudent to review this decision with the Board before making such a large capital expenditure. That review began in June 2002 and has included the examination of a number of other alternatives for recycling in the region. Staff utilized research, public comment, technical review, as well as feedback from the Board of Directors to come to its concluding proposal.

"The board made no decision at its December meeting regarding the future direction of recycling. What occurred is that the staff and the ICC provided a report that is an improved alternative to the curbside recycling program and a strategy for implementation," says John Hadfield, executive director.

Public comment should be directed to each of the member communities SPSA serves with the exception of Virginia Beach, which has its own recycling program.

"Due to the fact that this program would be phased in over several years, we do not expect the financial burden for all waste management activities, including recycling, to be more than the cost that the member communities are paying right now," says Mr. Hadfield.

"The cost of $2.92 is what we expect the new cost per home, per month to be under a fully automated program. This is up from the $1.05 we now charge per home per month. We will have to invest in new trucks and the containers for citizen usage if the fully automated curbside recycling option is selected. Various funding considerations will be addressed if options, other than fully automated curbside recycling, are selected," adds Mr. Hadfield.

Materials to be collected and other program decisions will be made in the coming months as program selection is finalized.