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In his third week on the job, Taylor County Recycling Center Coordinator Brad Wise says he is enjoying his new post — and more people seem to be coming to the center than in the past.
“It’s really picking up,” he said. “I’m pleased.”
Wise said he is still getting familiar with the inner workings of a recycling center and deciding how Taylor County’s should operate.
“A lot of stuff to learn,” he said.
Wise said the center accepts No. 1 plastic bottles, such as soft drink and water bottles, No. 2 plastics, such as milk cartons and detergent containers, steel and aluminum cans, shredded office paper, newspapers and magazines.
Computer monitors are accepted for recycling during Wise’s hours at the center, which are from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
The center’s drive-through bins are open at all times.
The majority of items left at the center are items that can be recycled, Wise said, and not garbage or items the center can’t recycle. Wise said the center does not accept plastic items with higher recycling numbers or glass.
He said all items that can be recycled have a number printed inside a triangle on them. That number is important, he said.
Wise said it’s also important that residents who bring items to the recycling center rinse their items and sort them when leaving them. He said residents who want to drop off aluminum or steel cans can leave labels on them.
Inmates from the Taylor County Detention Center are being used to sort items. Wise said and that arrangement is working well.
Even though he has been on the job less than a month, Wise said he is enjoying his new position. He said he hopes people learn about the center and recycling and more begin to use it.
“I’d like to see it grow,” he said.
Taylor County Fiscal Court’s Sanitation and Environmental Committee met at the recycling center on Monday night to discuss how the center is operating and some other issues.
At the meeting, Magistrate Ed Gorin, who serves on the Committee, said several people have asked about the center beginning to accept glass. If the center began accepting glass, he said, the county would likely have to take it to Springfield for actual recycling.
Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told the group that there is no market for recycled glass.
Pat Hardesty, Taylor County Extension agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, who serves on the Committee, said he believes accepting glass would be a great service, though it might be best for the county to get comfortable operating the center and then see if it can accept additional types of recyclable items.
Magistrate Richard Phillips, who also serves on the Committee, said accepting glass could be a liability issue and create a mess if it was broken.
Rogers said he doesn’t support accepting glass, unless it is broken down when it is accepted and stored in a safe place. He said the Committee could research the possibility of accepting glass and discuss it again at another time.
The Committee agreed to research creating some new signs for the center to create a more uniform look and communicate information to those who bring items, such as what bins to use for what items and what items aren’t accepted.
Gorin said Wise has done a good job cleaning the center, though Wise said there is more work to be done.
“You’ve got it looking a lot better than it was,” Gorin said.
Wise said the majority of those who come to the center want to recycle correctly, while others seem to just drop off their items. Rogers asked Wise if the county could have two bins per item to help prevent them from being overfilled. Wise said he will research the possibility. Rogers said he believes Wise has done well at the center with the little training he received and is continuing to learn the operation. Gorin agrees.
“It looks like to me it’s almost just turned around,” he said.
Phillips said, “I think Brad is leading the way. I’m excited about the future.” Since the county took over operation of the recycling center, Wise said, it has averaged about two loads of recyclable materials per month. He said the county is preparing to send its fourth load. Though the county sent loads in July, no money has been collected for those items yet.