Home News Local News Recycling agreement heads to City Council

Recycling agreement heads to City Council

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A Roswell City Council committee has given preliminary approval to a recycling franchise agreement with a private company. In this June 26 photo, Roswell resident Joe Luna drops off items at a West Hobbs Street city bin, which would be removed if a franchise agreement is finalized. (Juno Ogle Photo)

The details about how privately run recycling services will affect Roswell residents are not known yet, but members of a Roswell City Council committee gave preliminary approval to a few items concerning a proposed franchise agreement with J & A Recycling LLC of Roswell.

The city decided in June to end its management of a recycling program for residents and instead transition to a private company providing the service as an independent contractor.

The city’s large green collection bins still can be seen in the parking lots of some area retail centers, but most materials are no longer accepted due in part to the high costs and low revenues of recycling those materials, the city said. Now only cardboard, aluminum and tin are collected, and the city plans to remove the bins as soon as the franchise agreement with J & A is finalized, which could be in early 2021.

Legal Committee members Judy Stubbs, Jason Perry and Barry Foster voted Thursday afternoon to forward three matters concerning the recycling agreement to the entire City Council, which is due to meet Nov. 12.

One item concerns holding a public hearing in December or thereafter about whether the city should enter into a non-exclusive franchise agreement with J&A.

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“We are unable to do an exclusive agreement with any individual for these franchises,” City Manager Joe Neeb said. “If anybody else came along, they would be allowed to negotiate with the city as well.”

City Attorney Parker Patterson said the city has revised the city code, as approved by the City Council on Aug. 13, to ensure the ordinance will be in compliance with state statute regarding franchises.

He also said the public could challenge the franchise ordinance, if it is adopted, and that a special election would have to be held if enough voters protested the city’s decision.

The other items the Legal Committee forwarded to the City Council are the franchise agreement itself and an equipment leasing agreement.

The agreement would be for up to 25 years, a five-year initial term and up to four, five-year extensions. J&A would provide the bins to residential and commercial customers who sign up with the company and would remit to the city 7% of its gross receipts from city customers, to be paid monthly. The company also would provide the city with customer information, including the rates paid.

The city also has drawn up an equipment rental agreement that will allow J & A to use equipment that the city will no longer need, with the city agreeing to deliver the equipment to J & A at its East Clovis Highway work site.

At this point, the agreement would have J&A paying $200 a month for a bobcat, $50 a month for a vertical baler, $75 a month for a horizontal baler and $25 a month for eight concrete barriers. J&A would be responsible for maintenance.

J&A Recycling did not respond by press time to several requests for comment. Its website indicates that it recycles aluminum, tin, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard for rates that range from $20 a month to $35 a month, with start-up fees required for residential customers and a contract needed for commercial customers. A social media post indicates that rates could change after the franchise agreement because the company will have to pay the monthly franchise fees to the city.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.