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Cost of Allen County recycling program to cost a lot more this year

Operating recycling trailers like this one will soon cost Allen County more money. (News-Sentinel.com file photo by Kevin Leininger)

The cost of a county-subsidized recycling program will go up this year — way up.

Under a three-year contract with Republic Services, Allen County had been paying $296,000 annually to operate six recycling trailers, five of them staffed.

But Department of Environmental Management Director Tom Fox told the County Commissioners Friday Republic declined to extend the contract, which expires Feb. 1, because the Chinese government has dramatically reduced the import of waste to be recycled, reducing demand and prices accordingly.

Under the new one-year deal approved Friday, the county will pay Republic $465,375. Fox said that will give the market time to adjust and the county an opportunity to explore other options. That’s an increase of about 57.2 percent.

Also Friday, the commissioners elected Therese Brown to serve as president for 2020. Brown is serving her third consecutive term as second district commissioner. Richard Beck was was elected vice president and Nelson Peters secretary.