Recycling program revamped in Sherman

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Sherman City Council voted Monday night to revamp the recycling program instead of scrapping it all together.

But now, it'll be up to each Sherman resident to decide if they want to recycle at all.

Instead of trash pick-up and recycling as separate fees on the bill, it's just one flat fee.

Starting next week, Sherman residents will pay $18.75 for solid waste and recycling.

That cost is for both cans, whether you choose to recycle or not.

They can choose to have a trash bin and a recycle bin, or just two trash bins.

"So we're trying to simplify the program in order to get better compliance," said council member Josh Stevenson.

They said since May, the city was paying $50 thousand a month to companies to recycle.

Sherman city staff screens the loads to make sure there's no contaminants.

But if any get through, they said recycling companies charges five times what the dump charges to take the same material.

And 40% of Sherman's recycling bins were contaminated.

"At one time they accepted what you would you might consider a contaminated stream," said council member Shawn Teamann.

Teamann said even a plastic wrapper on a water bottle could contaminate a recycling bin.

"Then it's all so contaminated that it would take a tremendous amount of effort to separate it back out," said Director for the Center of Environmental Studies at Austin College Peter Schultz.

Schultz has been working with the city on the new plan.

"When we put something in a landfill, in the future we'll eventually be dealing with that as a problem, the clean-up," Schultz said.

"At the end of the day, it's only going to work if people follow the rules about what goes into that can," Stevenson said.

"Virtually, all environmental problems are a result of doing something cheap in the short term that costs us in the long term," Schultz said.

Here's what's you can put in the can:

- clean fiber like cardboard, newspapers, cereal boxes, junk mail and catalogs
- #1 and #2 plastics like drink bottles, milk jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles.
- tin like food cans
- aluminum like drink cans

You can't recycle glass.

If you live in Sherman and want to keep recycling, you can call the Sherman Solid Waste Department at 903-892-7261.