Fort Smith last took recyclable material to a Clarksville recycling center June 27, the center's deputy director said. The date does not match up with what City Administrator Carl Geffken said earlier this week about recyclables being dumped in a landfill only since November.
Green Source also never closed its single-stream processing line, contradictory to what a news release from the city states, said Jacob Gould, deputy director at West River Valley Regional Solid Waste Management District, which owns Green Source Recycling.
In an email sent at 8:37 p.m. Thursday, Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman wrote that the city had put incorrect information in a Monday news release.
"The press release stated that Fort Smith hasn't taken household recyclable material to Green Source since November, 2016. Upon receiving further information, it is now clear that Green Source has not been able to take our recyclables since June 2016. All residential recyclable material collected since July has been put in the landfill," the email states.
As the Times Record previously reported, Fort Smith residents' recycling has been going to a landfill instead of a recycling center without residents' knowledge. Recycling trucks have continued to pick up the recycling. The city's contract with Smurfit KAPPA expired in September 2014, and with no local options, the city began taking recyclable materials to Green Source in Clarksville as a temporary solution.
The city sent out a news release Monday that stated, "Over time, Green Source reduced the amount of material it could take from Fort Smith, due in part to limits on the amount of material they could process according to their permit from ADEQ. Mark Schlievert, Director of Sanitation since April of 2016, developed a Request For Proposals for single-stream recycling services in October, 2016, due by the end of the year. By early November, Green Source closed its single-stream processing line. With no vendor accepting recyclables, the city chose to dispose of such material in the landfill until the city could secure a recycling processing contract."
Gould said that Green Source does not usually serve Sebastian County and could not keep up with the amount of recyclable material coming from Fort Smith. However, it is not true that the center closed its single-stream processing line, he said.