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Joplin city council opts to put curbside recycling to a public vote

Updated June 18, 2013:  Curbside Recycling was a topic of much discussion at Monday night's Joplin city council meeting.

Council members rejected a proposal on June 3 to put a curbside recycling program to a public vote by the margin of four to three, but community members spoke out hoping the council would change their mind.  On Monday night Joplin residents attended the city council meeting prepared to make their voices heard.

Council member Bill Scearce says the decision should be in the hands of its citizens.

"It's not very often people get to make a choice on what sort of government people have and I'm in favor of people doing that," says Scearce.

The issue brought up who should decide on the proposal - the citizens or council members.

Representatives were heard from both sides on whether curbside recycling should be mandated or a choice in an election.

"Whether it passes or not, I certainly am not going to vote against what the voters of Joplin want to do," says Scearce.

Under the proposal the monthly fee for trash pickup would climb to about $12, roughly a $3 increase.

Catherine Hart of Greentown Joplin believes some may vote against the issue due to lack of funds.

"I understand there's a concern about not wanting to add a financial burden to these people who have already been so burdened after the tornado, but I certainly think there's some great options out there for people," says Hart.

Four other Joplin residents spoke at the meeting, along with representatives from Deffenbaugh Industries and Covanta Energy.

The council voted 6 to 3 to put the issue on the April 2014 ballot.

 

Posted June 17, 2013:  Several Joplin residents will ask the city council on Monday evening to reconsider a citywide curbside recycling issue defeated earlier this month.

On June 3 the council rejected a proposal to put a curbside recycling program to a public vote.  The council voted "no", four to three.  In order for a proposal to be vetoed officially it must receive five or more "no" votes.

Four citizens were expected to address the council on the issue Monday evening.  Representatives of two recycling businesses, one in Bentonville, Arkansas and one in Tulsa have also filed requests to speak.

If the council gives the okay, curbside recycling would go to a public vote in the April 2014 election.

"If the vote of the people are in favor of it then I think the council will initiate it," says Joplin mayor pro-tem Bill Scearce.  "It will be a $3 charge for everyone to get recycling on a monthly charge.  If it fails, I don't plan on voting for it.  I would never vote against the will of the people."

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