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Florida County Ponders Cash for Parks’ Trash

November 15, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Florida’s Lee County commission today (Nov. 15) considers an ordinance that would let 23 mobile home and RV parks keep the cash they earn from recyclables for another four years.

While the ordinance would offer a temporary reprieve from plans to have the county’s contracted trash hauler collect aluminum and paper from the parks, some park managers want the ordinance’s proposed expiration date lifted, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

“It’s only going to come up again,” said Marty Antonelli, Palmetto Palm RV Resort manager.

If the proposed ordinance passes, parks would have to turn over their recyclables to the county’s contracted refuse hauler after Oct. 1, 2015.

Commissioner Ray Judah said he opposes the proposed ordinance because residents and businesses would be left to pay an extra $120,000 a year in trash collection and recycling costs.

“When you start making exceptions, you create inequalities, and then other people start having to shoulder the burden,” Judah said.

The county and its trash collector would split about $300,000 a year in revenue from collecting the parks’ recyclables.

Antonelli said she’s trying to recruit a coalition of residents to convince the commission to remove the expiration date of the propsosed ordinance.

“I hope that when they hear us speak at (today’s) meeting, they’ll understand that it doesn’t have to have an end,” Antonelli said.

Commissioners Brian Bigelow and John Manning said they would support letting the parks keeps their recyclables indefinitely.

The parks started recycling and passing on the profits to their residents long before the county took an interest in aluminum and paper, Bigelow said.

“For what little money we’re talking about to the total system, I think that we ought to let the mobile home parks do what they’ve been doing and not try and pull the rug out from them now or later,” Bigelow said.

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