The Barry County Commission’s committee of the whole unanimously recommended entering a contract for a solid waste coordinator to provide the resources and expertise to help create and expand sustainable recycling in the county.
Frank Fiala, chairman of the Barry County Solid Waste Oversight Committee, proposed a two-year contract with Iris Waste Diversion Specialists, Inc. to work with township leaders and others to increase recycling in the county.
“Iris has a wealth of experience in the recycling arena, and has a strong track record in providing similar services for units of government throughout the State of Michigan,” Fiala said.
The $40,000 a year cost is to be paid from the Barry County Solid Waste Fund, which Fiala said has been built up over time.
Sarah Archer, president of Iris, will work with the BCSWOC, township and local units of government, other organizations and the solid waste industry to coordinate and improve recycling through source reduction, source separation, recycling and reuse.
Archer will first “explore all facets of recycling” in Barry Country, and work with others to coordinate efforts to keep items out of the landfill and “improve what we have,” Fiala said.
Archer noted that Michigan does half the rate of recycling of neighboring states, with a recycling rate of just 14 percent.
“You can’t force residents to recycle, but you can give them opportunities,” Commission Chairman Ben Geiger said, adding that some townships in the county have effective recycling programs. //
Also Tuesday, IT Director David Shinavier’s request to buy 12 new copiers/printers for the county was also recommended for approval by the committee. Shinavier had earlier approval to seek bids for copiers; nine companies responded. The goal is to have all the copiers with one vendor, one contract and the same age, Shinavier said, which will bring lower price and maintenance costs.
The low bidder, Ricoh Corporation, asks $52,522.33 for the dozen machines with five years maintenance, supplies and training.
The IT department will sell some of the older copiers and keep at least four for other county offices that use copiers less frequently, like in the Courts & Law basement where records are kept.
The cost for black and white copies is 0.0030 and 0.0300 for color copies. The county produces about 92,000 copies a month.
Commissioners also recommended approval of entry into the Michigan Department of Agricultural Farmland and Open Spaces Preservation, more commonly known as PA 116, for Norman and Kim Hammond in Section 2 of Barry Township and Brad Smelker in section 7 of Carlton Township, and partial termination of PA 116 for property owned by Brian Leudke in Section 24 of Carlton Township.
The recommendations are expected to be acted on at the next regular board meeting.