Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Boyd pitches recycling plan

March 27, 2008

The push for a new recycling center will return to utilities committee after it was once again presented to the Baldwin City Council at Monday's meeting.

Roger Boyd, biology professor and recycling coordinator at Baker University, revealed his newest plans for the recycling center to the council.

In December, Boyd presented a similar plan for a recycling center near the power plant. The new plan proposes building the recycling center farther south, a location that, with its flatter surface, would allow the center to be easily modified if necessary, Boyd said.

"The volume of recycling does change, mostly expanding," Boyd said. "We have to be ready for it."

According to Boyd, the amount of recycling at Baker University has increased in recent years, with 37.4 tons of materials recycled in 2007, up almost 10 tons from the previous year's 27.5 tons.

Baldwin residents currently can either take their recyclables to centers in Lawrence and Ottawa, or they can use the recycling bins at the Santa Fe Railroad Depot, where Ottawa Sanitation recycles a limited amount of materials.

The new center would allow residents to recycle materials not included at the Santa Fe location, especially cardboard, which Boyd said was one of the most recycled materials.

In addition to helping the environment, a new recycling center would be more convenient for residents, perhaps encouraging more people to engage in recycling, Boyd said. He added that a new recycling center could also allow local entrepreneurs to create a curbside pickup service.

The new recycling center would cost approximately $9,500, with $7,500 going to hire a construction company to level the site and lay down gravel, and the other $2,000 going to the construction of a sorting facility. Boyd also suggested creating a sign for the recycling center, which he estimated would cost $500.

Depending on the amount of use the center receives, additional funds could be allocated to create a carport and expand the recycling facility, which would be 11,000 square feet under the current proposal.

Council Member Doyle Jardon expressed support for the plan.

"I hope the council feels the need of the community for this," Jardon said. "It's a no-brainer that we need this."

Jardon said the new plan would enable the city to ends its contract with Ottawa Sanitation, which manages the current recycling station.

But Council Member Ted Brecheisen Jr. had some concerns with the plan, noting that city code requires construction materials to be of a hard surface and would not allow the use of gravel, as the current request proposes. The current plan also does not include a fence, which Brecheisen said would be necessary to prevent materials from escaping.

Jardon said the storage shed, which has three sides, would be able to secure materials effectively.

"A fence could be a later improvement, if needed," Jardon said. "I don't want it to be a determining factor."

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