Recycling surplus hits $254,000
Final approval has been given for a $20,000 video promoting
recycling, some of which will be shot in downtown Adrian.
By Dennis Pelham
Lenawee Daily Telegram
ADRIAN -- Surplus cash in a fund for county recycling
and solid waste programs surpassed the $250,000 mark last
month, and a county committee is considering suggestions
for spending some of it.
Final approval was given Wednesday to spend $20,000 on
a 30-minute video of a fictional drama promoting recycling.
But the Lenawee County Solid Waste Coordinating Committee
tabled eight other requests for further study. The video
project passed a script review by the committee and is
on track for production in the coming months.
Stuart MacDonald, whose Linking Ring Media Group is producing
the video, said he is planning to shoot some of the video
in downtown Adrian in the spring. The city setting is
needed for a scene in the video of a desolate future where
natural resources have been depleted or polluted.
"What I would like to do is close part of downtown
Adrian," MacDonald told the committee. Old cars could
be overturned in the street and other scenery added, he
MacDonald said he is also trying to arrange to have Gov.
Jennifer Granholm or another celebrity do a short introduction
to the video.
The finished video will be available to schools and through
other outlets. MacDonald said he also plans to submit
it to PBS television stations.
The video cost will be added to the Lenawee County Solid
Waste Department's $160,000 budget for this year.
Other requests for money from the department's growing
reserve fund were reviewed and most sent back for more
information. The requests included starting a document
shredding operation for the county government, a grant
to pay for a paper baler and loading dock for the city
of Morenci's recycling program and a grant to the River
Raisin Watershed Council for educational materials to
distribute in local schools.
The committee voted Wednesday to approve a proposed 2004
budget of nearly $192,000 that includes spending $47,000
in cash reserves.
Surplus revenue this year has pushed the reserve fund
to $254,255 at the end of October.
The department's revenue comes from a 95-cent per ton
fee collected on waste received at the Great Lakes Waste
Systems landfill in Palmyra Township. The fee was expected
to raise an average $11,000 a month this year but receipts
have been $5,000 to $20,000 a month higher since June,
swelling a fund reserve that was already at $196,000 when
the year began.
The 2004 budget calls for boosting spending on recycling
drop-off sites from this year's $38,000 to $54,000 next
year. The committee approved adding a part-time clerical
worker to the solid waste department staffed only by coordinator
Educational material and advertising budgets were boosted
Committee members debated what to do with the solid waste
department's swelling fund reserves.
"It wasn't too many years ago that we didn't have
enough money to pay the head person," recalled James
Fischer. The department's full-time coordinator had to
be laid off and was later replaced with a part-time worker.
Simply holding onto the reserve funds is a mistake, said
"I think we would do a disservice if we said we're
going to have a balanced budget and sit on these reserves
when there are things that need to be done," Knoblauch
Committee chairman Keith Dersham said he is reluctant
to begin programs the solid waste department may not be
able to continue funding in the future. But special projects
were undertaken in the past when the department had surplus
funds, he noted.
Dersham, who oversees Adrian's recycling program as city
engineer, said in September he would like some support
from the county program. Dersham said Wednesday he is
considering a new location for the city's Saturday morning
drop-off site. He does not yet have any proposals for
the committee or final plans for upgrading the city's
A private business that is offering a weekday recycling
drop off site may take some pressure off the city's Saturday
Lake Erie Recycling Inc. of Toledo opened a facility
at 1139 Treat St. in Adrian three weeks ago. Recyclable
material is accepted from the public at the former truck
terminal building south of Beecher Street from 8 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, said plant manager
Lake Erie is accepting #1 and #2 plastics, cardboard,
newspaper and office paper and other material, he said.
The company is also buying non-ferrous scrap metal.