Curbside recycling to end in Shelby

Due to rising costs in the industry, Shelby city leaders have decided to cease offering curbside recycling to its residents.

City Council recently voted on the decision that will take effect in January.

“Although every effort has been made to continue this program, the price the city pays for this contracted service has risen significantly, making it unfeasible to pass this increase on to our customers,” said a press release from the city.

The decision came because the current contract expires at the end of December.

Currently, 6,400 households use curbside recycling. The cost was $2.78 per month per household. The new contract would charge $4.63 per month, a 66% increase, according to City Manager Rick Howell.

Shelby has offered curbside recycling for seven years. That practice will end Jan. 1.

Shelby’s situation is not unique. Many municipalities in the region have grappled with how to handle rising recycling costs. The reason for the increase comes from a ban China enacted on imported recyclable goods.

In Cleveland County, there are two companies that handle recycling, Republic and Sonoco. Both industries have increased the cost of providing the service because of the ban.

The town of Boiling Springs, which contracts with Republic, made a decision earlier this year before passing its annual budget. Town Council voted to pass along the increase to residents. The change, which also included solid waste collection, equaled an annual hike of about $36, according to a previous interview with Boiling Springs Town Manager Lucas Shires.

Once curbside recycling halts in Shelby, residents are encouraged to consider the practice at one of the county’s nine recycling centers.

In the meantime, city leaders vow to keep exploring options, the press release said.

“The city is carefully researching alternative solutions to reduce our waste stream, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition. We encourage our customers to continue their recycling efforts independently,” the release said.

Collection of recycling bins will begin Monday, Jan. 6, and continue the following week.

Participants are asked to roll out recycling bins on their normal collection day.

Questions? Call the Shelby Public Works Department at 704-484-6846 or customer service at 704-484-6866.