The new sign in front of the Metcalfe County Recycling Center was purchased with grant money Solid Waste Coordinator David Beasley obtained for the operation.
By Jennifer Moonsong, Jobe Publishing Regional Features
When it comes to recycling, the county has come a long way since the Metcalfe County Recycling Center opened in 2012.
At the upstart the county purchased a recycling baler, and provided the building which houses the facility.
“In the beginning, I didn’t know what exactly we were getting into. I learned everything the hard way,” said David Beasley, Solid Waste Coordinator.
“I learned quickly that we needed a lot more equipment to do what needed to be done.”
Recalling a sight visit to Washington County, Beasley commented to that he was overwhelmed. “They told me ‘you’re not but you will be’,” he said.
Now, and the future
Since the meager beginnings, the operation has grown thanks to Beasley’s dedication.
“It really is a positive thing in the county, and many people do utilize the service,” he said.
“You would be shocked by the amount of recycled materials that pass through our little county.”
For example, the facility processes 100,000 lbs of cardboard a month on average.
Over the past six years the operation has grown considerably thanks to grant funds diligently sought out by Beasley.
Most recently, an advertising grant made it possible for the facility to promote its services across the county. A new sign was also installed in July, which was also paid for with grant funds.
Even so, not everyone in the county knows about the facility and how it operates.
“Not everyone fully grasps the importance of this yet,” said Beasley.
Having the facility means there is less garbage go get rid of, which means that less trash has to be deposited into the quickly filling landfills.
Modern lifestyles have added greatly to the quantity of trash and recyclables that American families churn out.
In just he past two decades, disposable plastic water bottles, trending electronic devices that are quickly outdated and toys not made almost entirely of plastic have multiplied in quantity, greatly adding the long laundry list of things that must be disposed of somehow.
Beasley feels it is important for the people of Metcalfe County to understand and appreciate that small, conscious actions lead to better big picture.
“The services provided are for the betterment of everything,” he said.
That’s not to say that recycling is a cut and dry matter; state and national laws and requirements constantly impact how things are done and what items can be taken and recycled.
Currently, cardboard, magazines, paper, and plastics labeled 1 and 2 can be taken; those plastics include water bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles and the like.
Aluminum and some electronic scrap can also be processed.
Beasley and his crew also help clean up roadside dumps where people throw unwanted trash.
“We have cleaned up several dumps on the side of roads, sometimes we found out who is behind it,” he said. In that event, the EPA becomes involved and prosecution is an option.
Looking to the future, Beasley knows there is a long road ahead that can only be navigated with small, positive steps in the right direction.
At this time the Metcalfe County Recycling Center takes direct deliveries Monday through Friday before noon. There is also a depository in front of the Dollar General Market, and pick up from some businesses.
Household pick up is it yet an option, however, that may someday change.
In the meantime, Beasley hopes more people will utilize what is already available, and will continue to work in conjunction with the county to help the operation grow.
“I was just glad to be involved in the process to help bring it to life and with more education on recycling I think more people will understand the great benefits of it,” said Greg Wilson, Judge-Executive.
Most of the necessary equipment used was purchased with grant money.