Recycling Center drop-offs now open: NO PLASTICS
The Carter County Recycling Center reopened their drop-offs on Nov. 2. These satellite locations were previously closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re only doing cardboard, mixed paper, metal and aluminum cans,” said Benny Lyons, Director of Solid Waste. “No plastic.”
Lyons explained that the decision to resume the drop-offs was mainly due to people not being able to turn in recyclables when the Recycling Center is closed. People are still asked to drop off their recyclables at the main facility when it is open, however.
“It makes it easier on us to process at the main facility, but after hours and weekends, that’s what these drop-offs are for,” he said.
While the drop-offs are now back open, Lyons said people are not adhering to the no plastic rule, and this is difficult for workers at the main facility.
“It makes it difficult for the guys in the recycling building who are doing the separating and the baling, because they basically have to stop and pull out of, what is supposed to be, clean cardboard before they can bale it,” he said.
Contamination is the key word here, as contaminates not only make the job harder, but also risk the health of workers. It is believed that materials like plastics can hold onto the coronavirus for up to several days, thus when employees have to dig these contaminated materials out, they are at risk. Lyons describes this as very concerning.
“Put yourself in these guys’s shoes,” said Lyons. “If you were to have to separate this stuff, how would you do it?”
Lyons said the drop-off locations will stay open as long as people do not contaminate them with household trash or nonrecyclable items. He stressed that not everything is recyclable, noting that while it might be in other areas, here in Carter County it is not.
Lyons went on to say that when the time comes that plastic will be accepted, he will let the public know. This form of plastic will be bottles, when the time comes, not food containers or plastic bags, etc.
“We are just asking that people help us out with no plastic and no household trash,” said Lyons.