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Morgan recycling center opens

December 16, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The Charles R. Biggs recycling center officially opened Monday and a steady stream of cars with cans, glass, newspaper and plastic for the recycling bins impressed Bennett Lentczner, who chairs the Morgan County Solid Waste Authority.

"This is amazing," he said of the cars lined up to drop off their recyclables. "The public response is fantastic."

Del. Daryl E. Cowles, R-Morgan/Hampshire, who was on hand for the opening, said Gov. Joe Manchin and his family have supported a recycling program for a long time. He said a $44,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection came through the state to help get the recycling program established in Morgan County.

Morgan County Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said town and county officials helped to get the center off to a good start.

Swaim said "until about a year ago, I was not on board" with the idea of recycling. Then he read the statistic that the average American generates four pounds of solid trash per day for a grand total of 1,460 pounds per year. "Although Americans represent roughly 5 percent of the world's population, we generate 40 percent of its waste," he said.

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Swaim said he now recycles and voted yes a few months ago for the Morgan County Commission to donate $25,000 to help finance the center.

There are new rules for recycling at the center, such as removing the paper labels from cans and removing caps and rings from plastic containers before putting them in the clear plastic bags provided by the recycling center. Some people feel the rules could keep people from participating.

"Educating the public is our biggest challenge," Lentczner said. "It is all dictated by the vendors that take the materials."

"We have to take extra steps to recycle because no tax dollars are involved to support staff to separate and comply like in large cities," he said.

"We have no current tax dollars," Lentczner said. He said Morgan County is many steps away from operating like Washington or Montgomery counties in Maryland, or like large cities.

The center is open Monday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is between Eddie's Tire Co. and Herb's Auto Sales on U.S. 522 south.

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