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Rock Island County Residents Want Recycling Drop-off Bins Back

Susanna Kemerling
Members of the Community for Bring Back The Bins outside of the county office: (left to right) Richard C. Nesseler, Dorothy Beck, movement chair Phil Dennis, Chuck Wilt and Bev Wilt

A local group called "Bring Back the Bins" is asking people to support the restoration of drop-off recycling in Rock Island County. Monday, the group held a rally outside the county office building in Rock Island.

Last fall, the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency closed four, drop-off recycling sites. On Tuesday, members of Bring Back the Bins will attend the agency's public hearing about next year's budget.
Phil Dennis, the chair of the group says the lack of accessibility to recycling is harmful to county residents.

"Just in the city of Rock Island, 70 percent of the residents don't have drop off bins. There's a real need to have public bins available, so people don't have to travel to Iowa to recycle." says Dennis.

Richard Nesseler says recycling benefits the economy.

"Every time you purchase something virtually your price is cheaper if we recycle because what it's packaged in, is recyclable. Not only that, but the product that you buy, so much of that product is recyclable, which means that cheaper when we recycle." says Nesseler.

The Rock Island County Waste Management Agency board meeting will start at 1 pm at the county office building.
In September of last year, the agency's coordinator, Brandon Melton told WVIK that the RICWMA lost about 20% of their annual budget during 2020 and the pandemic.


Friday, June 17, 2022 by Michelle O'Neill

A group called "Bring Back the Bins" says a private company is willing to provide drop-off recycling for Rock Island County. And at a public hearing on Tuesday, members plan to ask the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency to spend 80,000 dollars to help restore recycling service. Last September, the agency closed four, drop-off recycling sites.
Phil Dennis, a member of Bring Back the Bins, says Midland Davis in Moline has offered to host a drop-off site.

"There's $80,000 available in the current budget that the agency could, instead of for these 2 vague items, step up and offer a subsidies for 1 or 2 vendors who want to provide a public recycling site on their private property." says Dennis.

On Tuesday, the Rock Island County Waste Management Agency is scheduled to vote on next year's budget.

Phil Dennis says, "For the last two months, Midland Davis has attended the meeting; has been trying to work out its site as a private county wide drop-off site, secured and maintained by the firm during regular business hours. But, there's been no support from RICWMA to help the subsidize the capital cost, the one time cost, of setting up this convenient county wide drop-off site."

Dennis says one 40,000-dollar line item expense in the budget is labeled "County-wide Waste Resources Outreach" under Public Education and Information. And another 40,000-dollar program expense is labeled "Drop-off Recycling Fund."

Susanna Kemerling is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2022 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated from Northern Illinois University for Media Studies in Communication and spent the last year working as a Teaching Assistant through the graduate program at NIU.
Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media and trains interns.