CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority gave West Virginia Recycling Services control of its operations Tuesday.
The move comes after months of debate over how to save the recycling program at the century-old Slack Street facility, which shut down in March for health and safety reasons.
"I'm really excited about this deal," said Kay Summers, chairwoman of the Solid Waste Authority board. "I think it's the best thing ever."
Although Slack Street later reopened as a drop-off-only point, solid waste officials have been paying $20,000 a month to ship recyclables to Beckley. Also, the tonnage collected has dropped dramatically since the shutdown.
The company has no plans to construct a new building at the deteriorating facility, but it will bring in new equipment and renovate it.
"There's been a loss of momentum since March and we need to gain that back," said George Hunyadi, a partner in the new recycling services company. West Virginia Recycling Services is a subsidiary of Draw Enterprises, based in Chicago.
Before momentum can pick up, Hunyadi said, "quite a bit of housekeeping" needs to be accomplished at the facility.
Additionally, a new scale will be purchased.
A transition to the public/private partnership will take place over the next 30 to 45 days, said the Solid Waste Authority's Rod Watkins.