03/08/06 — Center has recycling option for county's cardboard waste

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Center has recycling option for county's cardboard waste

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 8, 2006 2:04 PM

Wayne Opportunity Center wants to boost its recycling program by taking cardboard that has been banished from the Wayne County landfill.

Director John Chance said the center has been recycling cardboard for more than 20 years. "We started out collecting cardboard," he said. "Now we've gone to also collecting aluminum cans and newspaper. And we're just starting to recycle vinyl siding."

Chance said the Wayne Opportunity Center has a contract with the local schools to pick up their cardboard and paper. The center also collects cardboard from several local businesses that generate large volumes of cardboard.

Cardboard is also picked up from some government agencies and the town of Mount Olive. Chance said he would like to have recycling contracts with some of the other municipalities in Wayne County.

Residents also can take their cardboard to the Opportunity Center for recycling -- and there is no charge, Chance said.

"It won't cost people anything to bring their cardboard here, whereas some of the private companies charge a fee to pick up cardboard," he said. "And instead of taking it to the landfill and paying a fee to dump it there, people can bring their cardboard to us for free."

Chance said he understands why the county says the cardboard has become such a problem at the landfill.

"You really don't realize how much space it takes up until you walk through a facility like ours and see the mountain of cardboard that we deal with all the time," he said. "Having to bury that mountain of cardboard every single day, it's not hard to realize that after a while, that's going to eat up a big piece of land doing nothing but burying cardboard."

Chance said people and the county benefit when residents make the choice to recycle at the center.

"That's not only helping the county and landfill save space, but it also helps our program by providing work for our clients to do here. And the cardboard provides income for the center's operations."

The center's recycling program nets an average of $3,000 a month, Chance said. "That money goes back into the program. It goes to pay wages for clients that work in the recycling program. It helps with overhead, lights, water. Just like any other business, it goes back into helping make the Wayne Opportunity Center run."

The Wayne Opportunity Center is a private nonprofit organization that is a community-based rehabilitation program for people with mental and physical disabilities of all levels.

Anyone who has cardboard and wants to take it to the Opportunity Center may do so Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.