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Antrim County Seeks New Millage to Continue Recycling Program

This time next week, voters across Michigan will be making decisions for their local communities.

One Northern Michigan county is asking voters to support a millage to continue its recycling program.

Antrim County got a recycling program in 2009.

But costs are rising and now the county’s general fund can’t keep up with the program’s rising costs.

They’re asking the taxpayers to pick up the cost.

“There would be no recycling in Antrim County unless townships chose to pick up recycling programs on their own,” Janet Koch, associate planner for Antrim County, said.

A potential result if the county recycling program millage doesn’t pass.

25% of the county recycles at the seven drop-off locations throughout Antrim, but costs are going up.

“It’s increased at least 3% a year, except the last year there was a one-year stay. The costs are a concern to the Board of Commissioners.”

It costs around $340,000 per year to run the program.

Someone who owns a $100,000 home would pay $25 per year.

Violet Zimmerman’s voting "yes" next week.

“Those of us who live here, it’s so convenient to drop our recyclables right here in the village of Bellaire,” Zimmerman said.

While some are willing to sacrifice financially to see recycling stay, others think taxes shouldn’t go up to cover the program.

“I’m sure there’d be some that don’t want to pay any extra on taxes, but I think it’s such a wonderful asset,” said Carol Lynn Galster, who lives in Antrim County.

The voters will ultimately decide this Tuesday.

“Recycling isn’t free. It’s expensive, the market’s very volatile and there’s a cost to it,” Koch said.  

There is funding for the recycling program through the 2016 budget.