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Money woes cut plastic recycling in Morgan County

August 07, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Changes will be made to the Morgan County recycling program because of financial problems.

Beginning in September, plastics will no longer be accepted at the Charles R. Biggs Recycling Center, Morgan County Solid Waste Authority Chairman Bennett Lentczner said at Thursday's Morgan County Commission meeting.

"We can't operate at a deficit," he said.

Lentczner said the Authority makes about $500 a year "gross" on recycled plastics, and it costs about $22,000 a year to recycle them.

"We can't afford it," he said.

Lentczner said the plastics have to be sorted in clear bags provided by the center, and "some people won't sort and some are filled with garbage," he said.

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He said people "wait until we're real busy" and bring in their garbage.

When the bottom fell out of the market, it caused financial problems for the recycling center, he said.

Lentczner said cardboard was getting $65 a ton and now it's only bringing in $15 a ton.

Some areas of the program will be suspended for now "but not eliminated" to cut costs, he said.

The recycling center on U.S. 522 south began operating in December 2008.

It is open Monday, Friday and Saturday, and the Solid Waste Authority picks up recyclables in Paw Paw, W.Va.

Morgan County Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said the commissioners want to allocate funds to the Authority but could not afford the needed $32,000.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to fund $5,000 now and another $5,000 in December.

Lentczner said with that funding secured, the center would not have to close on Mondays, which it was considering.

But it will have to suspend the Saturday recyclable pickups in Paw Paw, beginning this month.

Lentczner said no more than 37 vehicles a month use the Paw Paw site.

He said about 1,600 vehicles a month bring recyclables to the center in Berkeley Springs.

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