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Ask NOW: Are the recycling drop-off center rules changing?

Dec. 30, 2013

Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

Is the city changing the rules

about using the recycling drop-off yard?

Issue: A reader who recently went to the center to pay for his annual $20 pass said passes were not available because the current program is under review. There is speculation, he said, that the yard will be available only on a "pay-per-visit" basis.

He said residents like the center because they can drop off recyclable material and in turn get compost and wood chips.

"I have no problem with an increase in the current fee, if that is what the city needs for financial reasons," he said. He said he likes getting rid of yard waste instead of letting it pile up on the curb for pickup.

Status: The popularity of the program, which often produces long lines on weekends, has generated a study by the city to see if the center is being used properly and if there is another financial model, officials said.

Elizabeth Hilt, management analyst for the city's Department of Public Works, said the city is considering changes based on video surveillance footage taken earlier in 2013. Officials said contractors sometimes dump building materials, a practice that is not in the spirit of the recycling program.

The city's cost for running the program is $150,000 annually, which includes having an attendant there.

"The city is considering looking at hours and whether there should be a per-visit fee," Hilt said.

"That will all be considered early in 2014."

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