CHARLESTON, W.VA. -- Cans, bottles, newspaper and organic material may be the most common items that people recycle, but the Putnam County Solid Waste Authority has a unique program aimed at something larger.
The PCSWA has received a $16,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection to help fund its mobile home recycling program. According to Charity Fellure, director of the Authority, the agency recycles three to four singlewide or doublewide trailers each year.
"We started about 10 years ago," Fellure said. "There's actually a lot of aluminum in mobile homes, and we try to recycle as much as we can. Of course, we can't recycle all of the materials, but we try to use as much as possible."
The owner or the executor of a will usually bring trailers forward to be recycled because they are no longer habitable, Fellure said. The PCSWA also has a program geared toward recycling parts of aging houses, and Fellure said her agency works closely with the Abandoned and Dilapidated Building Committee of the county's Planning and Infrastructure Office to address those needs, too.
"It helps out the community overall," she said. "We wanted to do a program that included recycling, and a lot of people don't think of mobile homes in those terms, but if we can reach out and help a family that may not have the means to tear down the structure, or it's a safety issue -- whatever the reason may be, it's always nice to give back."
Part of that giving back is designed to benefit area school students. The agency also has recycling receptacles throughout the county, and partners with West Virginia Trash and Recycling to dispose of collected recyclables. According to Fellure, the money gained from its bin collections go into a scholarship program for the county's high school seniors. Four awards were given to students last year to attend the college of their choice, Fellure said.
"The scholarships vary based on how much material is collected in the bins; we got a grant for the bins, and West Virginia Trash and Recyclables donates their time and manpower to collect it," she said. "The money goes straight from them to the WVU Foundation and is put in a fund up there where they can collect interest until they're awarded."