Recycling Future in Lexington

Jan 3, 2013

Recyclers are always in the market for more converts.  One way to do that is to better educate the public on the nuts and bolts of recycling.  That’s was the purpose of tour today in Lexington of a downtown recycling center.    The first week of January finds a larger than usual pile of recyclables in the receiving station, bound for processing.

Just after the holidays, they process a lot of wrapping paper and gift boxes….but there are also lots of empty glass bottles.  Compared to paper products, Recycling Program Specialist Esther Moberly says recycling glass is expensive.

 "Right now we’re sending it to a company. We’re paying for the shipping of it, which is about ten dollars a ton.  But, if we landfill it, it will be 28 dollars a ton, so it is at a cost savings.  Plus, we’re still committed to recycle,” said Moberly.

 Moberly says there are two plants in Ohio who may pay for the glass. A tour group Thursday posed numerous questions about what can and what cannot be recycled.  Kathy Sengpiehl  learned, the list of recyclables is shorter than she first thought.

 “I probably have been putting a couple of things in there that I shouldn’t have been, so I’ll make sure, and I know a neighbor who’s been putting quite a few things in that they really don’t have a use for here and I can tell her what some of the things are that other places in town will take them,” added Sengpiehl.

 A few stray items don’t concern Program Specialist Esther Moberly.  She’s more worried about things like vacuum cleaners and long sharp knifes.  They clog machines and pose a safety hazard to workers.

 Long term, recycling officials hope to double processing to about 50 tons per hour.  But, Moberly says, such an increase in efficiency might take a few years.

“I guess five years is ideal, ten years might be more realistic.  You never know with what’s happening in the political, financial end.  You know the city is still having problems with budget, it might not be the best idea for them to agree to do it,” said Moberly.

Moberly says land near Lexington has been selected for a new recycling center.  Now, they’re working on marketing and financing plans for the new facility.