A state grant was initially intended to expand Calhoun County’s existing recycling program into Talladega and Cleburne counties, but will now add only Talladega, according to an amendment to the recycling program. Cleburne backed out because one of the requirements for participation would require a solid waste study that could cost at least $10,000 said Probate Judge Ryan Robertson, who chairs the Cleburne County Commission.
“It would not be as feasible for us, our finances are in the black but we don’t have a lot of extra,” Robertson said.
Their withdrawal will have a minimal impact on how the program will function in Calhoun and Talladega Counties, but it will cause a slight reduction in the grant the county recently acquired for the program, said Calhoun County Administrator Ken Joiner. Instead of receiving the $252,350 originally allocated for the grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the county will now receive $240,350.
The Calhoun County Commission formally accepted the change at its regular meeting Thursday.
The $12,000 difference would have been used to purchase recycling bins for Cleburne County if it had participated, Joiner said. Those bins, which are designed to receive various materials that can be recycled, would have been Cleburne County’s primary means of participation in the program.
Calhoun County is using the grant money to expand its existing drop-off locations here and in Talladega County, to hire a part-time outreach coordinator, and to improve processing procedures at the Calhoun County Material Recovery Facility, where the Calhoun County Highway Department was formerly located.
The county budgeted for the bulk of the money, $198,350, to pay for infrastructure improvements. It will be used to purchase the new bins, three trucks to pick up recyclable material and two box trucks for loading small collection bins, among other things, the amendment stated.
Officials have not said where the new bins will be placed, but several can already be found throughout Calhoun County. The dumpster-like bins can be found at the Quintard Mall in Oxford and Winn Dixie in Anniston.
According to the amendment, the additional funds will be used for three different aspects of the program. The county plans to spend $20,000 for the outreach coordinator, $12,000 on educational planning and an additional $10,000 for professional planning services.
Contact staff writer Laura Johnson at 256-235-3544.