Harrison: Action Follows Need To Recycle (Green Initiatives | Winner 5,000-20,000)

More often than not, a city securing a solid waste contract to dispose of its garbage wouldn’t be considered particularly newsworthy.

But Harrison’s new solid waste contract that takes effect Jan. 1 is, in fact, newsworthy. It includes recycling, and for Harrison, that’s newsworthy.

Harrison, one of the state’s most beautiful cities, gateway to family fun and pristine Ozarks adventures, had far to go when it came to recycling. The city had a recycling center to which residents could take their pre-sorted items, but nothing else to entice them to recycle. In fact, the city had one of the lowest recycling rates in the state and lagged far below the national average.

The new contract with Inland Services for garbage collection and residential curbside recycling, in addition to a green retrofitting of City Hall, represent Harrison’s commitment to green and energy conservation initiatives.

That commitment is being recognized with a 2012 Arkansas Business City of Distinction award.

The new residential curbside recycling program will provide each city residence with one, 95-gallon container and will include one collection per week. Best of all, no pre-sorting is required.

“While Harrison always had a recycling center, citizens were encumbered with the responsibility to sort and transport their recyclables to a centralized location,” said Mayor Jeff Crockett, who initiated the new program. “In an effort to boost recycling numbers and, more importantly, limit the amount of solid waste we are putting into landfills, this recycling is curbside, and if put in the recycling container, it will be automatically sorted and taken care of for the customer.”

The accepted recyclable materials in the program, all of which can be placed unsorted in the city-provided containers, are:

  • Cardboard
  • Chip board
  • Aluminum, tin or steel cans
  • Plastic (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7)
  • Paper and paper products
  • Metals (aluminum foil, pie tins)
  • Glass bottles aren’t included, but can be dropped off at the city’s recycling center.

That’s not all Harrison did to go green in 2012. The city was awarded an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The $250,000 grant was in kind and required Harrison to pitch in $60,000 toward the green retrofitting of City Hall.

Constructed in 1953, City Hall had become expensive to maintain. Its structure was not energy efficient, its equipment, including the lighting and HVAC system, was old and in need of repair or replacement, and its only insulation was a one-inch, ridged insulation board on the built-up roof.

The grant enabled the city to make the following improvements:

  • Replace 1,050 SF of single-pane, aluminum frame windows on both floors on the east side of the building, and 8 SF of the same on the west side with double-pane windows.
  • Replace 205 fluorescent lamps that used 144 watts each with more efficient lighting that uses just 42 watts each.
  • Install five inches of new insulation on the roof, increasing its R-value (measure of thermal resistance) from 6 to 30.5.
  • Replace the HVAC systems for the police station and fire station No. 1, each located in City Hall.

Working with Arkansas Western Gas and using a heat-loss calculation on City Hall and through an audit conducted by CLEAResults Consulting, the city estimates it will save more than 82,000 annual kilowatt hours by changing out the lighting and reduce by half the number of BTU hours through the installation of insulation and double-pane windows.

Using the metrics calculator from the U.S. Department of Energy, city officials estimate an annual cost savings for the city of almost $4,000.

“These numbers speak for themselves,” Crockett said.