The town could offer curbside recycling by next spring.
Residents would pay $36 a year to have the town pick up "single-stream" recyclables once every other week, according to a plan unveiled by Town Manager Steve Husemann last week.
"Single stream" means all recyclables are mixed together in a collection truck instead of having residents separate them.
For years, residents have had to drive their recyclables to town transfer stations or pay a more expensive private company to pick them up.
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The town would pay for the program through subscription fees and transfer station savings. Participation would be optional.
Husemann said the goal is to have 6,400 households participate, or about 65percent, although he told the Mooresville Board of Commissioners Tuesday that he doesn't expect that many to sign up initially.
Those 6,400 households would generate $230,400 a year in revenue. Husemann estimated the town's annual cost of operating the program with two recycling trucks would be about $240,000. The balance would be made up through transfer station savings.
Upfront costs, including paying for the trucks and recycling containers, would be about $820,000. The town would reduce that figure through the $100,000 grant it obtained to buy containers, and it could reuse containers it already has for further savings, Husemann said.
Still, upfront costs would take "a big chunk" from the town's fund-balance reserve, he said.
The decision to spend that money ultimately rests with the commissioners, who could vote on curbside recycling as early as their Oct. 4 meeting or decide to hold off until after their early budget review in November.
Husemann said he needed a few more weeks to iron out financial and other program details. If commissioners approve curbside recycling, it would take about six months for equipment to be delivered, Husemann said. The program could then start by April or May, he said.
He said it's still way too early for residents to call the town to sign up for the program.