Fort Smith City Leaders Could Reach Recycling Agreement

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The recycling issue in Fort Smith may be nearing a conclusion as city leaders could possibly enter into an agreement on Tuesday (June 20) that would put an end to dumping recyclables into the landfill.

City leaders will be making the decision during the Board of Directors meeting. They'll decide to enter a contract with Third Rock Recycling, LLC, and Pen Sales. The agreement will decide if the companies will take the city of Fort Smith's recyclables for at least two years.

The issue comes after the city revealed they had been dumping all of residents' recyclable materials in the landfill since July of last year. The numbers show that more than 89 percent of recyclable materials from October of 2014 to June of 2016 went into the city's landfill.

Over the two years, the Sanitation Department didn't notify residents until after the city's contract with a recycling vendor expired.

The possible new agreement would cost the city of Fort Smith around $14,000 per month, and it will cover household single stream items like plastic bottles, paper and cardboard containers.

"They would take our materials for $80 a ton then they would process all that material and load onto trucks to transport to another facility elsewhere," said Jeff Dingman, city administrator.

If the city of Fort Smith comes to an agreement with a company, city leaders expect changes to come soon. Dingman said the agreement allows for a 30-day period.

The companies already have a couple of facilities they they're looking at.

"Once we sign the agreement then they can enter into the property and get that secured," he said. "As soon as they're available then they will start accepting it from us."

Also on the agenda, the Board to Directors will vote on whether to adopt the propelling Downtown Forward Plan. This is a plan to revitalize downtown Fort Smith that has been in the works for almost a year. If approved, it could initiate more action toward transportation improvements and development of the downtown management structure.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Fort Smith Public Schools Service Center. The meeting is open to the public.