TUSCUMBIA — Colbert County Landfill Manager Mike Shewbart said utilizing workers paying off fines or completing community service could help reduce the cost of the Shoals Solid Waste Authority's recycling program.

Shewbart said Muscle Shoals Municipal Court is allowing certain defendants to work off fines or community service in the recycling center.

"Muscle Shoals did step up and that's a big plus," he said.

Muscle Shoals Municipal Judge Bill Marthaler said the court has traditionally allowed people to pay off fines or complete their community service requirements by cutting grass or picking up trash.

Partnering with the recycling center offers another venue where certain defendants can pay off court-ordered fines, he said.

"We've used community service on a limited basis for a number of years," Marthaler said. "Certain pretrial diversion programs mandate it."

Marthaler said the court always tries to give unemployed defendants various options to pay off their fines.

If defendants can provide written proof they have a job, he will let them go to work.

Tuscumbia Mayor Kerry Underwood, who is the chairman of the Shoals Solid Waste Authority, said the board continues to find ways to make the recycling program more cost effective. 

"We are still studying how to make that a viable program going forward," Underwood said.

While he agreed using court-referred workers will help reduce costs, other measures are needed to further reduce costs.

russ.corey@timesdaily.com

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@TD_.RussCorey

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