Mayor on Duty

This week’s article is a collection of informational items. I hope they are helpful.

The recycle trailer is still operative at the Highlands Recreation Center. Some folks thought it had been removed when the garbage dumpsters were removed this summer. Anyone can continue to recycle glass, mixed paper, plastics, aluminum cans and cardboard at the Recreation Center. There are times during the week when the trailer is removed from the site to unload the bins at the Rich Gap transfer station. This procedure usually takes place on Monday, but is also determined by the amount of material that has accumulated throughout the week.

Rumor is that the Macon County Solid Waste Department takes all recycle material an put it in the landfill. While some communities across the nation are doing this because other counties now refuse to accept American recycle materials, Macon County continues to ship materials to commercial recycle companies. The current problem is that the price for recyclable materials like cardboard has crashed, but the costs of collecting and transporting these materials have remained the same.

I continue to study recycling issues since Sallie and I are committed recyclers. In some cases, I throw recycle type materials into our household garbage. This past weekend I threw away a number of plastic containers that were heavily contaminated with food materials. My rationale was that it would require more energy and resources in cleaning the contaminated containers which offsets any benefits. If had recycled the dirty plastic containers, I would be creating a contamination problem down the line.  Also, wax coated cardboard or paper are also not recyclable, as well as plastic grocery bags.

One of the new Bearicuda bear resistant toters that will be issued within the commercial districts in Highlands starting within a couple of weeks. The toters are 96 gallon, are double walled and they have a seal around the lid. The cost of the units were approximately $360 each. The monthly toter rental rate will be the same as the current rate of $6.35. The toters are not for sale, so if a business owner wants to purchase their own toter, it must be certified bear resistant, must be no greater than 100 gallons, must have wheels and lift bar, in order to be dumped by the sanitation truck.  Also, all trash must be bagged before being placed within a toter.

The town has now received the commercial bear resistant toters. They are 95 gallon toters.  Over the coming weeks town crews will be attaching the wheels to the toters. They will be deployed and replace the existing toters this fall. Hopefully, the old toters will be sold to communities that do not have bear issues. This phased in process will include the removal of all dumpsters on town right of ways. Merchants using the dumpsters will be provided with toters with adjusted fees.

I continue to monitor the healthcare situation here in the region post the Mission HCA merger. With the new HCA Highlands/Cashiers Hospital, and the formation of the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation, many changes are on the horizon. I have been in discussions with Highlands Cashiers Healthcare Foundation and HCA Hospital Board members. As an elected official, I feel I have a responsibility to support the best plans for delivering healthcare to the region.

Here is a new opportunity. Vision Cashiers has entered an agreement with a company that provides access to online and video consultations with certified doctors. For $100 a year, families in the Cashiers /Highlands area can have access to a “Teladoc” for minor medical problems, 24/7. To signup simply enter Vision Cashiers on a web browser. The signup information will appear on the screen. Service begins November 1.

  • Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor

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