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Recycling permit era begins in Columbia County

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    The Columbia County Solid Waste Department in Hudson.
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    Used electronic devices and equipment wait to be recycled at the Columbia County Solid Waste Department in Hudson.
December 31, 2018 03:59 pm Updated: January 1, 2019 02:19 pm

 

Starting Tuesday, people looking to use Columbia County’s recycling services will be required to have a permit that can be purchased at their local town clerk’s office or local solid waste service station.

The county decided to move ahead with charging residents to use the county’s historically free recycling in October to help keep the service going as returns for recycled materials have decreased and costs for recycling materials have increased.

Residents can buy permits, which come with two stickers to place on the inside of car windshields, for $50. Senior residents, starting at age 65, can buy the permits for $35. People living outside the county wishing to use the recycling services will be required to pay $100 for a permit. Permits will expire in a year.

“A lot of people have come to purchase the permits. It’s been our No. 1 business since Thursday,” said New Lebanon Town Clerk Tistrya Houghtling. “We sold 15 permits on Friday [Dec. 14]. For my small town that is a lot.”

All of the county’s nine recycling stations, except New Lebanon, sell the permits, which puts the town in a unique situation.

The office is scheduled to be open 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 5 and Jan. 12 so people can purchase them those days.

“Saturday is the busiest day for the New Lebanon service station because people are off and that’s usually when they drop off their recycling,” Houghtling said. “People need the permits to drop off recycling after Jan. 1 and the service station does not sell the permits so that makes it tricky for residents.”

The county decided to charge for its recycling service, which has been free since the county started offering the service in 1989, as prices for recycled materials have plummeted after China — one of the biggest buyers in the recycling market — stopped accepting foreign recycled materials.

The Columbia County Solid Waste Department budgeted about $70,000 to handle 2018 recyclables, and by July, the county had spent that money, forcing the department to draw from other funds to continue operations.

Columbia County Solid Waste Department Director Jolene Race projected that costs for recycling will reach $250,000 next year.

The new permits will not affect Hudson and Greenport residents, where the county collects the recycling by contract. Hudson and Greenport will be charged like commercial haulers at $20,000 each.

Other town clerks reported that people came in to purchase permits before the new year.

n Austerlitz has sold four permits so far, starting Dec. 17, said Town Clerk Susan Haag. The town clerk’s office, 812 Route 203, Spencertown, is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

n Canaan sold two permits, starting Dec. 17, said Town Clerk Charlotte Cowan. The town clerk’s office, 1647 Route 5, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and then 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

n Taghkanic sold one permit so far, starting Dec. 17, said Town Clerk Cheryl Rogers. The town clerk’s office, 483 County Route 15, Elizaville, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

n Ghent sold three permits, starting Dec. 17, said Town Clerk Michelle Radley. The town clerk’s office, 2306 Route 66, is open 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

n Copake put permits up for sale Dec. 17, but had not had any purchases as of that morning, according to the town clerk’s office. The town clerk’s office, 230 Mountain View Road, is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.

n Hillsdale has its permits and is ready to sell them to anyone interested, said Town Clerk Kathi Doolan. The town clerk’s office, 2609 Route 23, is open Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

n Kinderhook has its permits and is prepared to sell them to anyone interested, said Town Clerk Kim Pinkowski. “I had a few people come in interested before I got the permits,” Pinkowski said. “No one has come in yet to buy the permits.” The town clerk’s office, 3211 Church St., Valatie, is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

n The Germantown Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town offices, 50 Palatine Park Road, are open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

n The Ancram Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town clerk’s office, 1416 Route 7, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to noon.

n The Stuyvesant Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town clerk’s office, 5 Sunset Drive, is open Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

n The Stockport Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town clerk’s office, 2787 Atlantic Ave., Hudson, is open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.

n The Livingston Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town clerk’s office, 119 Route 19, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.

n The Clermont Town Clerk’s Office was unable to respond to a request for comment. The town clerk’s office, 1795 Route 9, is open the first, second and third Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.