CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- So many people are recycling water bottles at satellite recycling bins set up around the county that members of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority want to make the drop-off sites permanent.
In the aftermath of the Jan. 9 chemical leak that contaminated tap water for 300,000 people, recycling collection bins were set up in Clendenin, Cross Lanes, Marmet, Sissonville and at the Boy Scout service center on Kanawha Boulevard East in Charleston. Some sites that began with small bins are now hosting roll-off containers that hold 30 cubic yards of plastic.
At a regular meeting of the Solid Waste Authority's governing board Tuesday, board members said they'd like to make the outlying sites permanent and expand the drop-off locations from taking just plastic water bottles to other types of recycling.
George Hunyadi, who runs the Slack Street recycling center where plastic from the satellite bins ends up, said it wouldn't be much trouble for his crews to take other commingled materials from the sites. He said Waste Management incorporated pickup of plastic bottles from the bins into its regular cardboard recycling runs to keep collection costs down and is bringing both kinds of materials to the recycling center on the same trucks anyway.
Hunyadi said adding paper and cans to the mix wouldn't be difficult.
"At Slack Street, I'm getting commingled loads now," he said. "From my perspective, I think you could transition plastic into single-stream easily."
Solid Waste board members have been looking for a way to expand recycling into outlying parts of the county anyway. Allowing residents to commingle their recycling and drop it all off at a single site would be easier for the public and encourage more people to recycle, they believe.
The problem with leaving the satellite drop-off sites is the cost of picking up the materials. Solid Waste Authority Director James Young said it would cost $5,000 a week for Waste Management to service the satellites.
"That's $60,000 a year," said Solid Waste Authority board Chairman Rod Watkins. He said the Solid Waste Authority just doesn't have that kind of money.
"The thing is how to make a sustainable, long-term arrangement for this," he said. "I don't have that answer right now."
At least part of the cost of picking up the material would be made up by selling the recyclable cans, plastic, cardboard and paper.
"I'll crunch some numbers on my end and see how it can make sense," Hunyadi said.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.