Rogers City officials committed to keeping recycling available

News Photo by Julie Riddle Cardboard appears piled around full recycling bins at the transfer station in Rogers City in June.

ROGERS CITY — Rogers City officials say they are committed to keeping recycling available to city residents.

City Manager Joe Hefele and Mayor Scott McLennan were asked by the city council on Tuesday to schedule a meeting with Presque Isle County Commissioner Mike Darga that would also include representatives from Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, and Republic Services — the business that picks up the recycling from the transfer station.

McLennan said Darga recently asked his fellow commissioners to remove the county’s recycling bins from the city’s transfer station and relocate them to other townships in the county.

However, McLennan said he doesn’t see removing the recycling bins from the city as a reasonable solution to the problems occurring there.

“That’s not what we want, it’s not what citizens want, and Rogers City residents pay millage along with everyone else in the county for the recycling program,” he said.

McLennan said the bins aren’t emptied enough and frustrated residents are leaving their recycling — and sometimes garbage — outside the recycling bins once they’re full.

Rogers City residents leaving their recycling or household garbage outside the recycling bins when the bins are full is not a new problem for the city or the county.

Rogers City officials, in August 2019, purchased a high resolution camera to monitor the recycling bins, after residents kept dropping off household garbage at the site.

McLennan said residents who leave their recyclables or household garbage outside the bins once they’re full are breaking the law by littering. Littering is punishable by an up-to-$500 fine and up to six months in jail.

The newly installed camera allows the city police to track down those who litter. McLennan said sometimes residents are given a first warning and other times they receive a citation.

City officials now plan to lock the transfer station’s gate at night to reduce times when residents can access the recycling.

Hefele also addressed the matter in his written report to the board.

“The fear is, with the county pulling recycling from our property, folks angry that they are paying a millage for recycling with no bins in the area will be more likely to simply drop their items off on the transfer station property,” he said in the report.


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