CORBIN — Grant money recently announced for the Corbin Recycling Center is appreciated as officials admit the center is struggling in certain areas.
The everyday operations of a recycling center are pretty routine but they are never slow, according to Corbin Recycling Center Director Roger Shelton, who walks an average of four to five miles per day inside the recycling center.
According to the Kentucky Environmental and Energy Cabinet, the average American discards seven and one-half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into landfills, where it's compacted and buried.
The Corbin Recycling Center operates two trucks that drive to business locations and pick up materials that can be recycled. This is a service free to businesses.
However, Shelton told the Times-Tribune on Monday that the prices of the material has significantly dropped and personnel issues are causing a delay in services.
“The prices have dropped,” Shelton said. “Cardboard in particular has taken a hard hit. I was getting $85 a ton and now I’m getting $40 a ton.”
The recycling center also maintains nine trailers and two “roll off” units. The roll offs are the units that sit off Master Street and off 18th Street. The trailers are smaller and are located at area schools, colleges and factories. Keeping up with the current trucks, trailers and roll offs is challenging, especially when an employee needs a day off. Shelton said he’s currently having some personnel issues that’s causing trouble getting things picked up in a timely matter.
Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills. Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials (for example, manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95 percent less energy).
Earlier this month, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management announced 49 recycling, six composting, and 29 household hazardous waste grants to expand recycling and composting infrastructure, reduce the amount of solid waste going into landfills, and improve the environmental management of household hazardous waste.
The Kentucky Pride Fund, which is generated by a $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky landfills, is financing the 84 grants totaling just over $4.6 million.
The grants require a 25-percent local match in the form of cash or “in kind” personnel, educational activities or advertising to promote the program from the cities or counties receiving the awards.
The City of Corbin received $11,800 in one of those grants and Shelton said these funds are beneficial to his operation.
Shelton said these type of grants have been used to help with advertising and he has ordered three cages that are used inside the building with similar funds.
“The grants offset quite a bit when it comes to doing things,” Shelton said. “We can get some things that speed up our process quite a bit from grants.”
Shelton, as always, encourages community members to keep the trash out of the bins and keep plastic bags out.
Shelton also encourages community members who are curious about the operations of the recycling center to come down and see the function of it. The Corbin Recycling Center is located at 707 S. Main Street in Corbin and is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.