November 30, 2021

County seeks new recycling coordinator

Recycling stock image

Cortland County’s recycling coordinator has moved to another position in the highway department and county is looking to fill the recycling position, a month after the county took control of its recycling and nine months after she was hired.

Renee Parks said she is now a scales operator Monday, while working at the county landfill.

Highway Superintendent Charlie Sudbrink said the change took place “a couple weeks ago.”

Parks’ move had nothing to do with recent changes to the county’s recycling program, said county Legislator Chris Newell (R-Cortlandville), the chairman of the Solid Waste Committee.

The county took over its own recycling operation at the beginning of the year. however, a fire Jan. 4 destroyed a Taylor Garbage Services’ materials recycling facility in Tioga County, which was going to accept the county’s recyclables.

The county then contracted with Bert Adams Disposal’s material recycling facility in Binghamton to fill the gap. However, that company is at capacity and could accept little more.

After looking at the cost to haul to other facilities Sudbrink, with state approval, decided to send recyclables to the landfill, and to compost cardboard.

Newell said he, Sudbrink and Parks met a couple weeks ago to discuss workloads and that it was his understanding the move was a “mutual agreement between Renee and Charlie.”

“She’s a really good worker, but being a manager is a really different skill set,” Newell said.

Parks, who was hired in April as the coordinator, was in charge of the operations at the recycling center and educating the public on recycling in the county, including what was going to be accepted at the center.

The coordinator position was created with a salary range of $49,546 to $60,282.

The county received a $44,961 state Department of Environmental Conservation grant to help create the position, which requires a 50% match from the county — $22,500.

The recycling position was listed on seven days ago with a salary ranging from $50,536 to $61,488.

As a scales operator, Parks weighs the trucks coming into the landfill and files the paperwork related to that.

She took a pay cut for the new assignment.

Parks had worked as a scales operator at the county landfill before taking the coordinator position.

Sudbrink said the timeframe to fill the position “depends on who the applicants are.”

“The position will remain open until I find a qualified candidate,” he said.