CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The county recycling center on Slack Street will close Friday, City Council members learned Monday evening, leaving Charleston, three other municipalities, and hundreds of homeowners with few options.
Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority board members agreed Monday morning to close the aging recycling facility at 600 Slack St. after consultants told them it would cost $1.5 million to make the processing building there meet minimum safety standards.
"It's awful," said board member and Councilwoman Kasey Russell. "We thought there was going to be a fix. They are closing as of Friday. There's no public drop off after Thursday, but we're looking for options for the cities."
Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and St. Albans all bring recycled items to the Slack Street center, which accepts a wide variety of goods -- paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metals. All but Dunbar are required by state law to recycle at least four items.
The center also takes used televisions, computers and other electronic devices collectively known as e-waste, although it has to pay to get rid of it, Russell said.
For several years, board members have been hoping to build a modern recycling center but, so far, have been unable to find a suitable site. They recently hired a team of consultants -- local architects ZMM and Hatch Mott McDonald, a national engineering firm -- to check the processing facility at Slack Street.
The news wasn't good, Russell said. "It's got holes in parts of the floor and in the ceiling. The main issue was combustible dust coming from paper and glass, and there's no proper ventilation."
So the board decided to close operations immediately to protect workers. Director Norm Steenstra will try to find a short-term solution this week, she said.
The closing of Slack Street in effect leaves the four cities, as well as private residents, on their own.