BRANSON, Mo. — Branson aldermen unanimously approved an agreement with Taney County to see the city’s recycle center move to the transfer station on Buchanan Road, where it will be operated by the county.
This decision comes six months after the Aldermen asked for a staff report on the recycling center, given by Branson’s assistant city administrator, John Manning. In his staff report, Manning gave the city’s Aldermen three choices and one recommendation. “Staff recommends course of action two, permanently close recycling center.”
Manning argued that keeping the recycling center would cost Branson taxpayers over $265,000. He also added that many other communities were using the center because of their free drop off.
“Not just Taney or Stone County, even citizens from a neighboring state were using our center on a routine basis,” said Manning.
The Aldermen rejected the recommendation, but the recycling center stayed closed until September.
At the last Branson Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, City Attorney Chris Lebeck said that more than 72% of the people who used the recycling center at the end of 2020 were not residents of Branson. “So less than 30% of the people using our recycling center live within city limits.”
Debbie Redford was the first environmental specialist hired by the City of Branson in 1995. She served until 2008, but she has been advocating for the last year to keep the recycling center open.
“I think the community has just come into a recognition environmentally that we take care of our lakes, we take care of our streams and we don’t fill the landfills anymore then we have to,” said Redford.
She says that Taney County reached out to keep the recycling equipment in the community.
“Unfortunately at the time the city was considering options, at that time they did not approach the county about any kind of a partnership to keep it at this location. And it was when they were looking like they might close it down, that the county stepped up voluntarily and offered to be able to… and said we will house it because we consider recycling an important service for our citizens.”
The final approval vote is scheduled for the next Branson Board of Aldermen meeting on Jan. 26. According to the agreement, the city would give the recycling center’s equipment to Taney County by no later than Feb. 1 if it passes. All of the equipment would also be moved to the transfer station on Buchanan Road, where it will be operated by the county.