FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The Fort Smith Sanitation Department spent tens of thousands of dollars sending recyclables to the landfill during the majority of 2016.
Estimates about how much was spent recycling during the period vary wildly, ranging from about $182,000 to upward of $500,000.
Talk Business & Politics reported that the city's sanitation department started taking recycled materials to the landfill June 27, 2016, as opposed to November 2016. The city revealed the recycling issue May 1, 2017. The period is roughly 10 months.
Mark Schlievert, director of the Fort Smith Sanitation Department, was fired from his job on May 10. He said the city spent about $52,920 per month running the city's seven recycling trucks. Schlievert said the estimation comes from FEMA schedules, and includes everything except delivery fees. With this estimate, the city would have spent about $529,200 on recycling routes during the 10-month period.
However, City Administrator Jeff Dingman said it costs about $18,200 per month for the recycling program. He said it costs about $2,600 per route, and there are seven different routes. With this estimate, the city would have spent just $182,000 on recycling in the past 10 months.
Dingman said the city is still running the recycling trucks, and there are no definite plans to stop the routes. He said the city is trying to work out a deal and find a new place to send the city's recyclable materials.
Fort Smith city leaders said they continued to pick up recycling to keep residents in the habit while they tried to figure out a deal and find a new place to take recyclables.
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