"My intention is to talk to those people," she said. "Even if they
only have a small amount of recyclables, every little bit helps."
In November, Kent businesses received a letter from the city asking them to fill out a form telling the city where their recyclables are going, and informing the businesses of an ordinance requiring them to pay a fee to offset administrative costs of the program.
Those who recycle will pay $3 per month, regardless of the fee. Those who don't recycle will pay a fee ranging from $6 to $48 per month, depending on the number of people who work at the business. Those who don't fill out the form will pay $48 per month regardless of the number of employees.
The fee will appear on businesses' utility bills starting Feb. 1.
Gilbert said the city offices will be open on today and businesses which have not yet filled out their forms should submit it then, even if they haven't decided what to do with their recycling. The form can be changed later, she said.
While the city already had an ordinance requiring businesses to recycle, the law was not enforced until this year.
Gilbert said the policy has changed because the city has to meet requirements reducing the amount of trash that goes into the waste stream. The city can't meet those requirements unless it knows what businesses are doing with their recyclable materials.
It is easier for the recyclables to be tracked if they are being hauled by the Portage County Solid Waste District, and businesses can save money if they choose this option, Gilbert said. The district will haul recycling at no charge, as long as the business rents a container at a nominal fee, she said.
Businesses may also save money on their trash hauling bill if they recycle, Gilbert said.
The city has been asked to reconsider its policy for owners of home occupations, who are already paying a recycling fee for their home. The issue is pending before Kent City Council.
Phone: (330) 673-3491