Akron’s recycling program has changed over the past few years, as the value of recycled materials has fluctuated.
Now, as part of the fallout from the pandemic, the city is projecting a significant decline in income tax revenue and must eliminate the $2-$2.50 credit residents who recycle receive in their utility bills each month, said spokeswoman Ellen Lander Nischt.
Eliminating the recycling credit will save the city about $1.2 million a year, which can help keep the program going.
“That doesn’t even cover the cost of our recycling program, it’s more than that,” she said. “But it will help shore up that financial picture so we don’t have to use money we could be using to pay cops and firefighters salaries to do recycling.”
The recycling program, however, will continue.
“We are still taking our recyclables to a facility having them processed, recycling all those core recyclables,” she said. “We started this credit because we wanted to get people on the program, and also we could afford to subsidize it because at that time it was much more lucrative.”
Residents eligible for the Homestead Exemption will continue to see the credit on their bills. Residents who do not recycle will see no change in their bills. Everyone else who recycles will lose the discount beginning in June.