TEGA CAY — Environmentally conscious residents soon might wake up and find it’s a whole lot easier to reduce their carbon footprint.
Months after the city announced its recycling contractor will only accept paper products at curbside pickup, officials are working on a deal with York County that will allow Tega Cay residents to recycle many more materials without leaving their property. Since the city’s contractor, Signature Waste, cited a sagging market for its decision last summer to no longer accept glass, that left the county’s convenience centers as the next best option to deposit recyclables, including plastics, glass, mixed paper, newspapers, various metals such as tin cans and even cooking oil.
Even though the closest York County collection center near Baxter Village is less than five miles from Tega Cay, driving to and from a recycling facility and putting more car exhaust into the atmosphere may seem counter intuitive to green-minded residents used to curbside service. Now there’s a good chance they’ll have at least some service other paper pickup again.
“I hope, by the February (city) council meeting to be able to announce some good news,” Tega Cay City Manager Charlie Funderburk said.
A big part of the reason the two municipalities might be able to work together is the county’s new recycling processing facility in the western party of the county, Funderburk said.
“York County invested a lot of money in that facility and they did an amazing job that hopefully will allow them to work with us,” he said. “It’s still a little early to tell, but we’re working with the county to see if we can make it happen. It may be March, but hopefully we won’t have to wait until March.”
In late July, the city posted on its website that officials realized the impact the change in recycling protocol would have on residents.
The posted stated: “We understand how this will impact many of our residents who participate in the recycle service. The City is exploring alternate options with Signature Waste and other partners for a long-term solution. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue recycle your glass items by taking them to the nearest York County Convenience Center (Baxter) or any of their collection and recycle locations.”
One outlet Tega Cay residents have had for tin cans has been the Tega Cay Fire Department, which has been running a can drive to raise money for the Medical Center of South Carolina’s pediatric burn unit. Cans were accepted at just one of the city’s two fire stations but as of Feb. 1, residents can bring their cans to either station.
“Recycling is definitely important to us,” Funderburk said. “It’s been a little inconvenient lately, but hopefully not for too much longer.”