Harahan is eyeing the funding for its recycling program as a possible revenue source to help give its police and fire departments what they’re asking for the rest of 2015.
The idea was floated Thursday by Councilman Craig Johnston as the City Council grapples with coming up with a 2015 budget even as the year is nearly half over.
Johnston said he supports recycling but places a greater priority on giving the police and fire departments what they say they need, which at this point is an additional $109,000 and $44,000, respectively.
“It would be worth looking at if it would save money,” he said of possibly scrapping curbside recycling collections.
The Police Department has requested a total of $1.8 million, and the Fire Department has requested $998,000.
The line item in the budget for recycling is $108,000, but Johnston and other council members noted that anything that increases the amount of garbage collected — such as ending recycling collections — would increase the cost of the city’s trash collection contract, offsetting at least some of the savings.
It’s also unclear how much of those savings could be realized in the current budget year, which is almost half over.
Mayor Tina Miceli said she would send council members more detailed information on the cost of the trash and recycling services.
The council could vote on the budget, which calls for $5.8 million in general fund expenditures, as early as its meeting next week.
The city has been operating without a budget since the beginning of the year after the previous council and mayor did not pass one by the end of 2014.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.