U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) has made a last-ditch effort to save four drop-off recycling sites in Rock Island County from closing.
In a recent letter to Mike Waldron, board chairman of the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency, she expressed concern about the agency’s decision to close all four drop-off recycling locations in Rock Island County by Thursday, Sept. 30.
“As you know, many Rock Island County residents lack access to curbside recycling. These residents rely on each of these four drop-off recycling locations, which have collectively received nearly 1,000 tons of recycling in each of the last two fiscal years,” Bustos wrote. “Given the substantial tonnage collected at these sites and the significant inconvenience of driving one state over to drop off recycling, I request that you reconsider your decision.”
To prevent increases in illegal dumping and recycling misplaced in a landfill, Bustos asked that the agency consider cost savings that may be generated by 1) leaving open at least one recycling location; 2) renegotiating contracts with recycling vendors; or 3) other possible solutions.
All residents living in Rock Island County can use any one of the following four regional drop-off recycling sites through Thursday:
- East Moline — 1200 13th Avenue (Engineering & Maintenance Services Facility)
- Milan — 451 West 4th Street
- Moline — 3635 4th Avenue at Public Works Department
- Rock Island — 701 2nd Street
Recyclable materials will be collected from each site through a two-stream process – paper products and co-mingled containers.
The communities of East Moline, Milan, Moline and Rock Island host the sites listed above. As part of a cooperative agreement, these cities work together with RICWMA to provide the countywide residential recycling program. Republic Services is contracted to collect and process the recyclable materials. The host communities monitor the recycling containers as they are full. Containers are pulled on schedules or by request of the host community as they fill.
After Sept. 30, residents within cities should use city-provided curbside recycling, and those living in apartments or other multi-family residences or in the unincorporated areas of Rock Island County who don’t have curbside recycling pickup, can use the Waste Commission of Scott County drop-off recycling at 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport, and other locations in Davenport and Scott County.
The decision to close the four sites was made earlier this year because of a decrease in tipping fees from less solid waste being deposited at the landfills. The tipping fees from the landfills make up a majority of the RICWMA’s income. The decrease in solid waste is largely attributed to the Covid restrictions on businesses.
While the site hosts maintained the sites through staffing and resources, they had received a subsidy to help offset the costs. This subsidy was eliminated in July 2020 due to budget constraints, adding to the decision to eliminate the drop-off sites.
If you are currently receiving garbage collection from the city of Moline, you will automatically receive curbside recycling at a charge of $3.69 per month on your utility bill.
The city of Rock Island offers a Curbside Recycling Subscription Program which any Rock Island citizen or business may join. The cost is $52.68 per year (billed quarterly on the property owner’s utility bill).
In East Moline, recycling is provided by Republic Services. You can call 309-752-1530 if you would like to add recycling service to your home for an additional fee of $3.65/month. Recycling carts are provided free of charge.
In Milan, residents are provided a blue 48- or 96-gallon cart for recyclable waste. This service is $5 per month and is included on your water/sewer bill (as $10). If you do not have either of those services through the village, yearly invoices are sent out in the amount of $60.
For questions or more information, call RICWMA at 309-788-8925 or visit ricwma.org.