Monday the jointly owned Recycling Center at the corner of Main and Mayberry in Fayetteville reopened as Fayetteville and Lincoln County officials stepped in and negotiated a deal with Richardson Waste Removal to temporarily run the center on an emergency basis.
The center had closed Nov. 15 due to having inadequate funds to meet operating and payroll expenses, the result of decreased revenues from recyclables, said its executive director, Michael Ingram, at the time.
In Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Lincoln County Commission, Commissioner Doug Cunningham took the floor, saying that the city and county are taking greater responsibility in the recycling program.
“Today, due to the effects of the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991 and ensuing environmental laws, it’s a state and federal requirement that we cut 25 percent of our waste each year here in the county,” he said. “Due to the importance of meeting these requirements, we feel like it’s time that the city and county took greater responsibility for our recycling program.
“We’re currently in the process of negotiating a deal with Richardson Waste Recycling to temporarily run the center on an emergency basis while the city and county leaders work out the details of exactly the direction our recycling program will take in the future.
“We appreciate our partnership with the city,” he continued. “They’ve been a valuable partner in our solid waste ventures since the very beginning.”
The future of the local recycling program will be the focus of a meeting of the Solid Waste Committee on Dec. 4.
First opened by CLEAN, Inc., the Recycling Center has been operated by the Keep America Beautiful organization for several years, Cunningham said, noting that the city and county have made “monthly contributions” for many years to help with operations. Still, it has been the work of many volunteers whose efforts have helped provide the valuable service to Fayetteville and Lincoln County, he said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those many volunteers and the people who have served on those boards, who worked many hours fund-raising, providing educational opportunities to our young people so that they would know the importance of recycling,” he said, explaining that when the program was started, it was as much about education as it was about cutting waste from the waste stream.
Cunningham went on to apologize for the inconvenience, asking that residents refrain from using the center until it reopens. Commissioners approved a motion basically indicating its support of the emergency response to the situation.