Columbus to operate new recycling center - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus to operate new recycling center

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Every week, workers at the Goodwill Recycling Center on 6th Street in Columbus process nearly 150,000 pounds of recyclables. But that's about to change.

After 16 years, Goodwill decided not to renew their contract with the city.

"Ten, fifteen years ago when Goodwill started recycling, it was a major part of our overall operational budget. We depended on the revenue from recycling to help fund our mission but today, we're a $16 million organization with a majority of our dollars coming in from our retail stores so that's we're getting back to is focusing on that," said Kari Finley, Director of Marketing and Events for Goodwill Industries.

And now the Public Services Department is taking on the task.

Crews are working to turn the Material Recovery Facility on 22nd Avenue into the city's new recycling center.

"What we did before is picked it up, we took it to the site, dropped it off and went back and pick up some more. Now, we pick it up but we also have to process it, package it, sort it which is quite an undertaking," said Deputy Director of Public Services Ronald Smith.

Officials hope the change will help Columbus go even greener.

"I'd of course try to increase our intake in paper. I would like to take other plastics as well because right now we only take plastics 1 and 2. What we're trying to do is the right thing and go green but we're also trying to keep all of this out of our landfill," added Smith.

Officials with Goodwill say the change is not affecting jobs-the full time employees at their recycling facility will still be employed at their retail stores.

Their building on 6th Street is now up for lease or sale.

Beginning July 1, 2009, Columbus residents who personally drop of their recyclables will have to come to 22nd Avenue behind the Summit gas station on Victory Drive. Otherwise, the usual curbside pick up will not change.

If you need one of the blue recycling bins you can call 311, the Citizen Service Center and request one.

Public Services will bring it to your home.

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