Lincoln-Garrard recycling kicks into high gear
Workers demonstrated new equipment at the Lincoln-Garrard Recycling Center to civic leaders at a ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the installation of new equipment bought through a $170,000 grant. In the upper left is one of the new recycling containers that will be placed around the county. The container is mounted on a self-powered rollback trailer also purchased through the grant. At right is a new horizontal baler that reduces the time needed to build a bale of recycled material from four hours to less than one. ((Photo by Michael Broihier) / November 17, 2010)
Chris Thomason, Solid Waste Coordinator for both counties, said that the baler not only makes the operation quicker, but cleaner and easier for workers at the center. The baler can handle all types of recyclable material, such as cans, plastic, paper and cardboard, and compresses them into bales that are easy to handle and ready for resale.
Judge Executive Bill Demrow said that he expects that the new equipment will cut the cost of solid waste in half in the first year. “That’s money that is transferred straight from the general fund. You give these guys a year and they will have the cost to taxpayers down to zero.” Demrow said that the joint venture is a model that is being studied across the state.
Garrard Judge Executive John Wilson agreed that the cooperative recycling operation is a good deal, “We wouldn’t have gotten the ($170,000) grant for the new equipment if we hadn’t gone into this together,” he said.
Thomason said that with increased volume, the center is able to bid out its recycled material and command a better price. “It’s not just about money though, we are keeping things out of the landfills, conserving resources and providing jobs as well,” he said.
In addition to the baler, the center also purchased six recycling containers that are going to be placed around the county. Thomason expects to place the containers in Crab Orchard, Waynesburg, Hustonville and Stanford.
Dale Kirkpatrick, who chairs the board that oversees the operation, said that the containers and self-powered, roll-back trailer used to move them were also bought with the grant money. “We’ve got an extra container so there will never be a time when a recycling site doesn’t have a container.”
Lamb said the containers will greatly improve the working conditions for those who work at the site, “We used to just dump it out on the floor and sort it by hand.” The new containers are segmented, so workers can selectively dump cans, paper or plastic which will speed up the process. In addition to the baler and recycling containers, the grant also funded an automated sorting table with a conveyor belt that moves the material past sorters.
Thomason credited many of the improvements at the center to Lamb and his workers, saying, “I’ll put my team up against any in the state.” In addition to paid employees, the center is staffed by volunteers from the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program and inmates at the Lincoln County Regional Detention Center.