LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Some mobile home park residents in Lee County are objecting to a deadline from the solid waste division: Join county recycling now, or be considered a "business" and pay much higher fees for all garbage disposal.
"I am not ready to just go along with what they want. I am going to fight for my people," said Barbara Oliveira, manager at Tamiami Village in North Fort Myers. "I don't like what they are doing, because we don't put a burden on the taxpayers of the county. We do our own recycling and want to continue. We make $3500 a year, which we use for maintenance and to keep the fees low. That helps our residents a lot."
Lee Solid Waste is sending letters to the managers of more than 20 mobile home parks. The letter says: join county-wide recycling, or be judged a commerical business, and pay higher fees.
Lee Commissioners thought they had defused the disptue between the parks and solid waste a couple of months ago. They passed a motion, that they thought would give the parks a 2-year grace period, before having to join county recycling. Instead, the motion apparently had some unintended wording, and it imposed a Sept. 1 deadline.
Commissioner John Manning says he will ask his colleagues to vote for a "cease and desist" order to stop the pressure on the parks. Commissioners will consider that next Tuesday, their next meeting.
"These parks are making some money by recycling their stuff privately. They use the money for maintenance and maybe to have a party for the residents. I don't have a problem with that. We need to give them more time, and not try to pressure them to do this all of a sudden. I hope my colleagues will go along with telling solid waste to cease and desist for now," Manning told WINK News.
For many years, the mobile home parks have handled their own recycling as a way to make a little extra money. The county looked the other way. Recently though, Lee Solid Waste has decided that everyone should be part of the county recycling program.