- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
At the May 10 North Beach Town Council meeting, I expressed concerns over a proposal to purchase recycling bins for town residents. I think it is important to explain my position.
Let me be clear, I support recycling. That is why Iíve supported the idea of increasing the number of recycling days in North Beach. This will give citizens more opportunities to recycle.
As a steward of taxpayer dollars, I cannot support the proposal to provide recycling bins free-of-charge to residents. The proposed bins are nearly identical to a common trashcan, at an astounding price tag of almost $80 per bin. A quick trip to Sneadeís ACE Hardware indicates that a similar trashcan runs around $20. The total cost of this proposal is an eye-popping $65,750.
Supporters have claimed that these bins will be paid for because more recycling will reduce the amount of trash that North Beach sends to the landfill. While it is true that a similar program saved Chesapeake Beach $10,000 per year, North Beach has roughly one-third the population of Chesapeake Beach. If we save roughly one-third as much, it would take us almost 20 years to pay for the bins.
Twenty years to pay for trash cans. All with no guarantee that a resident receiving a bin will recycle more or even at all. And despite the fact that Calvert County currently offers free (albeit smaller) bins to all residents, including North Beach residents.
Some have questioned why I have supported spending money on other projects like the Christmas lights for the boardwalk. However, these lights were not purchased with taxpayer dollars. In fact, unlike the bins, these lights were paid for with fees charged to out-of-county residents who use our beach.
I care deeply about the town and hope to meet the goal of keeping it a pristine place to live. At the same time, it is vitally important that we maintain a fiscally healthy future. These bins do not meet that criteria.
Greg McNeill, North Beach
The writer is a member of the North Beach Town Council.