Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Green Coast Recycling has asked Wrightsville Beach residents to move their bins out of the Town of Wrightsville Beach right of way on the street curb, because there is no longer a curbside recycling franchise agreement between the town and Green Coast Recycling.
Green Coast Recycling is continuing to offer back door service to Wrightsville Beach residents after the Town of Wrightsville Beach ended the franchise agreement with the recycling company for curbside recycling.
The agreement ended in September 2013, making it a finable offense for Green Coast to pick up recycling within the town’s right of way.
Picking up recycling from a customer’s property, or back door service, is allowed.
Clifton Cash, owner of Green Coast Recycling, stated in a March 25 email that people like and count on the company’s service, and the company sent out a notice to customers about the change in pickup. Green Coast began servicing businesses in town in 2007 and offering curbside recycling in 2010.
Mike Vukelich, town public works director, said Green Coast has not been fined the $100 per occurrence fee for picking up in the town’s right of way.
Vukelich said the company continued to operate in town four to six weeks after the termination of the contract, but he sent an email telling it to stop curbside collection. As far as he knows, they have.
About 70 residents were using Green Coast services at the time of agreement termination, Vukelich said. The agreement was terminated for administrative reasons.
“They were doing a fairly decent job of collecting,” Vukelich said. “… As part of their franchise agreement, they were supposed to pay the town $1 per month per customer. And they were supposed to supply administrative paperwork showing who the customers were, their addresses; plus they were supposed to report to us the amount of collections and collection tonnage so we could report to the state. They were very poor at that.”
After the termination of Green Coast’s franchise agreement, the town went out for quotes.
“We didn’t get a lot of replies, and the replies that we did get was if the town made recycling mandatory, so all residents had to pay a recycling fee, then Waste Management or Waste Industries would be interested,” Vukelich said. “Otherwise they wouldn’t be interested in coming here nor was anybody else.”
Cash stated he did not bid for the franchise agreement. Residents can still recycle at the central drop-off location next to Wrightsville Beach Town Hall.
“There used to be a young kid that would come by with a station wagon and service some customers along North Channel,” Vukelich said. “I don’t know if he’s still in business.”
Cash stated he does not plan to go away or discontinue service due to operating in an unfriendly climate.
“We’re not perfect and I know the town has been frustrated in the past by slow reporting of weights, etc., but we service our customers rain or shine and holiday or not,” he stated.
Cash stated the situation is part of a larger problem representing how hard it is to profit from a green business in the community.
“It shouldn’t be so hard to offer recycling to people who want it,” he stated.
Calls to Waste Management were not returned as of press time.