Harlingen recycling center could be removed from city’s budget

News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The City of Harlingen Recycling Center could soon not be in place. Commissioners, Mayor Chris Boswell and Keep Harlingen Beautiful representatives discussed the future of the center at a public workshop on June 16.

The workshop was held nearly three months after the center closed due to COVID-19 concerns on March 23.

Assistant City Manager Carlos Sanchez had a presentation detailing the lack of profits, percentages of items not viable for recycling, and how much it costs to process.

For example, in the Fiscal year 2018-2019, Harlingen collected 26,984 pounds of plastic bags with $1,342 of revenue.

The facts presented soured the morale of the recycling center defenders in attendance.

Harlingen resident, Christy Tovar, disagreed with the city’s intent to show the failures in recycling.

“It just seems like there was an effort to present a lot of negatives about recycling in the hopes of showing that we do not need a recycling program here in Harlingen,” said Tovar, following her public comment.

Tovar spoke with District 5 Commissioner, Victor Leal, outside of Harlingen’s City Hall. The two swapped ideas with Tovar telling KVEO, she would be back for another workshop should the city hold one before drafting agenda items for action to be taken.

“Why would you expect to turn a profit on something that’s essentially an investment in quality of life,” added Tovar.

Recyclers seemed disappointed with the lack of allotted time for public comment and others were turned away at the door because of COVID-19 social distance limitations.

Tovar asked a rhetorical question to Commissioners and Mayor Boswell, “Is there the political will to fix it?” she believes there is but her faith waivers as efforts to close the center are apparent.

To view the full workshop, click here.

To view the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

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