Sylvania officials are considering whether a portion of the city’s composting operation could be outsourced to save money.
During a recent Sylvania City Council parks and forestry committee, held to discuss issues related to the city’s composting operation, committee chairman Katie Cappellini said it costs $250,000 per year to run the compost operation.
Kevin Aller, the city’s public service director, noted that amount of expenses is offset somewhat by the “approximately $22,700” the city received from selling compost in 2011.
“Each year is different,” Mr. Aller said. “It’s been down over the last two years. We had quite a stockpile of material up to a couple years ago. The goal now is to basically turn that material over every two years.”
As part of its community and green programs, the city operates a 23-acre composting operation near Sylvania at 6408 Sylvania-Petersburg Rd., Ottawa Lake. Compost is made from waste from maintenance projects and leaf collection. Residents can purchase the compost from the facility, or larger orders can be delivered. The cost is $12 for two cubic yards.
Committee members have been considering outsourcing the operation to save money. Mr. Aller has been in contact with two vendors.
“The way I approached it with them, is that we would continue to operate our collection program. we would collect the material and transport the material to their facility,” he explained. “If we remove that option, none of the vendors really have that collection potential. We would continue the service as far as removing the material, in order to provide the same level of service.”
At the request of the committee members, Mr. Aller said he would put together a recommendation on the budget for next year, including a tentative time frame on switching the operation over, if that is the best option. Council member Mark Luetke said he was confident that Mr. Aller would come up with a solution that would help save money.
“I’d like to see us get to a point where we’re not losing money,” Mr. Luetke said. When he found out that it could cost $650,000 in maintenance costs for a chipper, a piece of equipment used in the operation, he said outsourcing some of the operation is logical.
The councilman asked Mr. Aller if the city could close down the site, and Mr. Aller said, “I don’t want to do anything that puts people on the street.”
The operation owns a shredder, chipper, and separator and that the equipment will need major repairs soon, Mr. Aller said.
“I think we’re better off continuing the operation through the rest of this year, but then be prepared,” Mr. Aller said, adding that he will get a proposal/plan in place for city council to consider.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: email@example.com or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.