County’s Recycling Program Being Affected by the Economy

The county’s recycling program has been affected by the economy .
County Mayor Mike Foster, during the commission meeting Monday night, said the contractor, who has been taking the county’s recycled materials, has stopped for now, because it’s no longer profitable for him.” We have encouraged people to recycle and people were really adopting it and going on with it, but like everything else with the economy, the price of the stuff that’s being recycled, especially cardboard, has gone down. It went from about $100 a ton to about $20 a ton. Plastic, proportionately went down. I was told today (Monday) that steel was back up to about six cents. It was a dime but went to a penny and a half. You wouldn’t think it, but China is probably the world leader in recycling and what they do or don’t do affects the price of cardboard, paper, plastics, and metal because they are the chief user of it.”
“Right now, our contractor says he’s losing too much money to continue it. We’re trying to bale it and just break even on it with people from the landfill. Somebody said, just take it and dump it in the landfill, but I think that’s being extremely deceptive if we tell someone we’re going to recycle your stuff and then carry it over there and dump it. We’re not going to do that. We’re either going to tell people we’re going to freeze this until we get the contractor back when the price goes up or we’re going to work and try to get it baled, get it covered, and just leave it over there and store it until the price goes up to where we can afford to haul it. We’re just going to play it by ear, minute by minute.”
“We all want to do it. It’s all a really good thing. But I understand the contractor. If he’s losing $400 a load, then he’s got to have a bigger truck and it’s not working. It saves us about $35 to $40 a ton for every ton we keep out of there (landfill) so even if we break even on it, it’s still saving us money. We’ve been hauling from both sides of Highway 56, Snow Hill, and Alexandria to the old landfill for him (contractor) and dumping it in the building and he was baling it. When it was working, it was working well, but as the price went down, the building has become full and we don’t have anywhere to dump it. I’ve been getting calls because we’re not dumping it, but I’ve told them at the landfill that under no circumstances would we take it over there and dump it and tell people we’re recycling it because that’s wrong.”
Meanwhile, the county commission voted to spend $12,500 to purchase a used truck from Putnam County for the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department. The truck, equipped with a generator and lights, will replace a 1975 truck being used by the department for rescue and extrication services. The truck being purchased by the county has about 72,000 miles on it.
In other business, the county commission re-appointed members to the 911 board and staggered the terms. Current members Ron Rogers, Jerry Scott, Billy Adcock, and Marshall Ferrell will serve through October 31st, 2012 and current members Elmer Ellis, Jr., Wayne Cantrell, Steve White, and County Mayor Foster will serve through 2010.

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