Santa Cruz County officials are still deliberating what to do about their flagging recycling program after the bidding period for contractors interested in buying the county’s recyclable materials ended with just one bid submitted.
John Hays, the county’s solid waste manager, previously told a meeting of residents in Tubac that the county expected to make a decision on any bids by mid to late November. However, speaking to the NI on Wednesday morning, Public Works Director Jesus Valdez said they haven’t made a final decision.
“We’re still considering the bid. We got one vendor, or one contractor, so we’re just weighing our options,” Valdez said after the board of supervisors’ regular meeting.
He said he couldn’t remember the name of the company that submitted the bid, and did not provide it by the end of the day Thursday.
Valdez noted that even with a company expressing interest in buying recyclable material from the county, there was no guarantee that the material picked up would actually be recycled.
“We would pay them to come and get the material but there was no guarantee that they would find an end user for it,” he said. “That’s the problem – a lot of people are accepting the material but it’s not guaranteed that it’ll be recycled.”
Another issue, he said, is that the overall interest in buying recyclable material nationwide is at its lowest point since he has worked with the county.
He clarified that the county is currently recycling all metal and cardboard materials, as well as tires.
However, glass, plastic and paper are currently ending up in the landfill.
County staff expect to discuss the topic during one of the board of supervisors’ meetings at the beginning of next year, Valdez said.