J’ville opens recycling center

by Cristin Parker

The city of Jacksonville is all about the three R’s – that’s reduce, reuse, recycle.

The city has opened its new community recycling collection site, at the city Public Works Department headquarters, 1220 S. Bolton St.

“This all started six or seven years ago,” Jacksonville Public Works Director Jordan Yutzy said, “when the city received a grant to place a collection receptacle at the county landfill. It was popular enough at that location, that we applied for a second grant to place a dumpster at the Public Works building.

“If the response it as good here as it has been at the landfill, we’ll look into adding more dumpsters in other areas of town.

The city’s new recycling collection location was made possible by a $4,000 grant from the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG).

The site takes most recyclable materials including paper, phonebooks, magazines and cardboard (but not used pizza boxes); most types of plastics, especially water and soda bottles, milk and detergent jugs and take-out boxes; and aluminum and tin cans and scrap metal.

“We take everything that can be recycled except glass,” Yutzy said. “Because the receptacle is a single source collection site, we don’t want to take glass because it’ll break and make it harder to sort.

“We’re also not accepting larger items, like home appliances, at this site, but we are looking at establishing a site for that in the future,” Yutzy said.

Yutzy said the city’s site is open to all county residents interested in recycling.

“Of course, it’s open to all Jacksonville residents, but we’re not requiring anyone to verify their residency,” he said.

The site on Bolton Street is secured and monitored via cameras to help keep illegal dumping from occurring, and features parking and an unloading area along Tena Street.

Items collected for recycling are picked up by Republic Waste Service, which then takes the haul to a recycling center in Kilgore.

“One container, many benefits,” Republic Service’s website states. “We believe that recycling at home should be effortless. All you have to do is place your recyclables in the container, and we’ll do the rest. Our advanced sorting equipment ensures your recyclables are processed responsibly and reliably.”

Republic Services officials ask that any item placed in the recycling dumpster should be clean, empty and dry.

Electronics such as computers, LCD and CTR monitors, laptops, server equipment, printers, copy machines and other IT equipment can be recycled at STS Electronic Recycling, 522 CR 1520, Jacksonville.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, “recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.”

Not only does recycling help the environment, the EPA has reported the recycling industry has also generated positive economic benefits, too. The 2016 national Recycling Economic Information Study found that in a single year, recycling and reuse activities across the country accounted for 757,000 jobs; $36.6 billion in wages; and $6.7 billion in tax revenues.

“This equates to 1.57 jobs, $76,000 in wages, and $14,101 in tax revenues for every 1,000 tons of materials recycled,” the study reports.