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Kanawha recycling center to reopen, with limits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority board members are still looking for a new home for a countywide recycling plant, after they were unable to buy a Dunbar site and took no action Tuesday on another possible site north of Charleston.

Board members also tabled plans to build a steel building for processing recyclables at their Slack Street location when problems arose on bids for the project.

But the Slack Street center will reopen Monday for public drop-offs -- on a limited scale -- as announced last month, Director Norm Steenstra said at the board's monthly meeting Tuesday.

"We're running newspaper ads on Earth Day [Sunday]. We've ordered signs. So at 7 o'clock Monday morning ... we'll have an attendant here and I'll be here to see how it goes," Steenstra said.

Hours for the supervised public drop-off are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The Slack Street center will be closed Sundays and holidays.

Fewer items will be taken for recycling -- cardboard, mixed paper, office paper, No. 1 plastics (water and soda bottles), No. 2 plastics (milk jugs and detergent bottles), aluminum cans and steel cans. All items must be separated.

"Of course we decided not to take glass," Steenstra said. "That's been the biggest disappointment. There's no place to take glass.

"The operation is going to be open almost 60 hours a week. There's going to be some bumps in the road with this. But in talking to my friends, they're ecstatic this is going to reopen."

The authority is apparently no closer to finding a new home for its processing operations after it voluntarily declared the previous Slack Street facility unsafe in early March.

Board members didn't get one site in Dunbar, and discussed another site Tuesday, also in closed session. They decided not to make any decisions until after a meeting Thursday among county recycling "stakeholders," at which they hope to get some idea what cities like Charleston and St. Albans want to do.

Steenstra wouldn't identify the new site, except to say it's outside Charleston city limits. "It's not real close to our center of activities, but it would allow us to expand and get back into operation."

The board also delayed until after Thursday any action on bids they took on a 50- by 100-foot metal building that would be erected, at least temporarily, at Slack Street.

Two of the bidders came to the board meeting to answer questions but board member Rod Watkins objected to one, saying he hadn't submitted a proper bid.

"His bid, although the lowest, didn't have the specifications. It may meet all the specifications, but I don't think we should accept his bid. We would have to rebid the entire contract. He's privy to the other bids now. It's not fair," Watkins said.

Also at the board meeting were Chairwoman Kay Summers, Kasey Russell, Greg Sayre and Richard Milam.

Reach Jim Balow at balow@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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