SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Springfield officials say the city will be able to offer new programs and expand existing ones through its recycling fee increase.

The State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/1w6O1RD ) reports the fee is expected to generate more than three times the annual revenue than it did before the charge increased. Public Works Director Mark Mahoney says the fee should bring in $720,000 this year, up from an average of $219,000 in previous years.

The city recycling fee went from 50 cents to $1.50 a month in April 2013.

City officials say the higher charge has allowed them to strengthen efforts to recycling during downtown events and increase marketing to expand recycling citywide. Mahoney says the fee has also made it possible for the city to expand waste collection and provide year-round pick-up services to residents.

___

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com