Rohlfs started at the beginning, saying that it was in 1975 under
Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar that the solid waste management and
recycling act was signed into law.
The act made counties responsible for planning and implementing
A funding mechanism was put into place using population size in
accordance with U.S. Census Bureau figures.
Currently, the county collects $3 per person per year to run the
program. "Which, if you do the math, it comes out that it costs
everybody in the county 25 cents per month to have a recycling
program," Rohlfs said.
According to the most recent census figures, Logan County has had
a decline of 897 residents, which will decrease the agency's budget
by $2,691 a year.
The Logan County agency was formed in 1997 and began by providing
recycling drop points all around the county. Bins are available for
commingled plastics and metal, and for paper, in every town in Logan
County excluding Lawndale and Latham. Latham is not a member of the
In addition to materials collected from recycling bins, the
agency also conducts special collections such as paper shredding,
for which costs were underwritten by the State Bank of Lincoln, as
well as electronics, appliance and glass collections each year.
According to Rohlfs, "the recycling market is a very volatile
market to begin with." But with the recession, the recycling
businesses took a hard hit. Manufacturing was down, and because
there was not a need for the recycled materials, "the market fell
off very sharply," she said. Prices have been up and down.
The county has a new electronics recycler, Vintage Tech from
Romeoville. In April, 6 tons of electronics were collected from
local government offices and schools. A public electronics
collection in October netted 18.5 tons.
Seasonal glass collection, which is co-sponsored with the Lincoln
Junior Woman's Club, Saint-Gobain Glass and the Logan County Fair
Association, yielded 22 tons this year.
Another electronics collection with
Vintage Tech has been set for Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the
Logan County Fairgrounds. And, another fall personal document paper
shredding will be scheduled, with the State Bank of Lincoln once
again underwriting that program.
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Rohlfs said that Area Disposal had been providing curbside
recycling free of charge to its Lincoln customers. They received
funding through the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.
That program will no longer be offered.
Area Disposal notified its customers that effective July 1 there
would be a $5 per month fee. Of the 486 participants, only 148 of
those customers stayed with the curbside service. Rohlfs said,
"We've seen the increase at the bins here in Lincoln."
The agency has its own transport truck, which actually resembles
a garbage truck.
Dispelling some rumors, she said there have been a few, rare
times when the agency truck has broken down and it has become
necessary to ask Area Disposal to empty the overflowing containers
and use their garbage truck to take materials to a dump.
Rohlfs said, "Ninety-eight percent of the materials collected do
go on to be processed at a recycling plant."
Looking ahead, Rohlfs believes that the agency will see some
rebates for some products, particularly paper, in the near future.
However, the rebates will not be enough to offset other increasing
costs, such as fuel to transport materials.
The agency's board is composed of representatives of every
incorporated area of the county, with unincorporated areas
represented by county board members. The board meets at 7 p.m. on
the third Wednesday of every month at the Logan County Courthouse.
Meetings are open to the public