The city of Hannibal’s recycling fee will be increasing in January following passage of Proposition 1 Tuesday.

The city of Hannibal’s recycling fee will be increasing in January following passage of Proposition 1 Tuesday.
By a margin of 683-500, voters approved increasing the recycling fee that households pay to $1.90 a month. A 70-cent recycling fee currently appears on BPW residential bills.
Voters in the Marion County portion of Hannibal approved the measure by a 680-492 margin. Hannibal’s Ralls County residents voted against the proposal 8-3.
Just 10 percent of Hannibal’s 11,734 registered voters cast ballots.
Despite the fact every ward approved the measure except Ward 1, Precinct 1, John Yancey, president of the Northeast Missouri Sheltered Workshop (NMSW) and the recycling program’s volunteer manager, admitted he was nervous.
“I had some anxious moments when the first returns came in,” he said.
Yancey is thankful for the public’s support of the NMSW, which has operated in Hannibal since 1965.
“We’re pleased that the public believes that they’re going to spend their money wisely and I hope in the next three years we can relieve anyone’s doubts,” he said.
In July, the City Council was told the NMSW lost over $26,000 in 2012 and was continuing to operate at a deficit in 2013. Will the new revenue be enough to get the operation back on solid financial ground?
“Absolutely. If it doesn’t I’ll be the first one to say we’re not doing something we ought to be doing because this is a good increase,” said Yancey.
Some of the money could be spent on equipment.
“We do have a definite need for new, bigger and better equipment,” said Yancey. “We can only do so much with the equipment that we have. It’s old and requires a lot of maintenance. It’s certainly not state of the art.”
Changes in the recycling program could be coming in the future.
“We probably need to do a better job as far as our programs are concerned in getting the material from the people. To set the bins out and ask the people to bring it is not really enough,” said Yancey. “I guess we’ve got to do a better job as far as educating the people and getting more people involved. We need to have an education as far as what is recyclable and what is not. We need to refine our operation some. Hopefully we’ll have enough money to hire enough people to work on those kinds of programs to make sure the public fully understands what is recyclable and what is not recyclable.”
Recycling last went before the voters in April 2012. At that time voters agreed to continue the 70 cent monthly fee.