Two Villagers competing for a seat on the North Sumter County Utility Dependent District Board have ducked a question from the League of Women Voters about a change in the trash/recycling program in The Villages.
Diane Spencer of the Village of Gilchrist is the Seat 7 incumbent on the NSCUDD Board, which oversees trash collection in Community Development Districts 1 through 11. She is being challenged by Daniel Warren, also a resident of the Village of Gilchrist.
This past May, after several public meetings in which input was sought from Villagers, it was Spencer who made the motion to switch from the existing program and begin sending trash and yard waste to the Covanta waste-to-energy facility in Okahumpka. The switch became official on Oct. 1. Products previously sorted out as “recyclables” are now being combined with the trash.
Both candidates did not respond to the following question put to them for the LWV of The Villages/Tri-County Voters Guide: I support the recent decision of the District to institute a twice weekly collection of co-mingled materials (i.e., solid waste, recycling, yard waste) for conversion to energy. (Select from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree)
In fact, both candidates have sidestepped virtually every question put to them by the LWV.
Proponents of the waste-to-energy program point out that collection trucks are now logging fewer miles and trash is no longer being hauled to a landfill in Georgia. They contend a greater percentage of waste is “recycled” because it is being converted to energy. The energy is put onto the grid and transmitted to Duke Energy. Some NSCUDD directors have expressed a desire to see that energy being used by SECO Energy one day and powering homes in The Villages.
NSCUDD also voted to raise the waste pickup charge from $19.38 to $22.24 per month, representing a 14.75 percent increase. The increase took effect Oct. 1 and will increase 3.25 percent annually for the next nine years.
Check out the entire LWV Voters Guide at this link: https://www.lwvtrifl.org/