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How new recyling agreement affects Gainesville residents
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Plastic materials are bundled and waiting for shipment Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at the Hall County Recycling Center. - photo by Scott Rogers

Starting Aug. 1, Gainesville will send its recyclables to the Hall County Recycling Center at 1008 Chestnut St. SE, Gainesville.

The arrangement was approved Thursday, July 11, by the Hall County Board of Commissioners. The Gainesville City Council approved the agreement on June 18.

Gainesville, which had sent its recyclables to Athens, is expecting a cost savings with the new arrangement.

The city has been paying $100 per ton for single-stream recycling with glass, plus the labor and gas required to bring recyclables to Athens. Hall County will take the recycling for free and charges $33 per ton for trash, which would include glass.

However, because the county’s recycling center is not equipped to handle recycling with glass mixed in, city residents will start having to separate their glass and taking it to a county compactor site to be recycled.

The county can sell recycled materials to vendors, which then use them to make new products. Under the agreement with Gainesville, the county will pay the city half the market rate for the cardboard it brings in. Gainesville would not be paid for single-stream recycling, which includes paper, plastics and metals.

Ken Rearden, the county’s public works director, has said the county will work with the city to educate residents about the change and where they can take their glass.

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