The Morgan County Solid Waste Authority has announced a reduction in services at the Charles R. Biggs Recycling Center due to a critical decrease in funding.
Effective September 21, 2015, the Recycling Center will be open only on Fridays from 11:00-5:00 and Saturdays from 8:30-3:00. The Center will be closed on Mondays.
“This is not a decision we came to lightly but we must live within our means and can only do what we have funding for,” said Solid Waste Authority Chair Leslie Hotaling, “ Funding is down from both state and local government sources, and the markets for recycling are at the lowest prices we’ve seen in years. We have to pay to recycle all plastic and glass. We had no choice but to reduce services to meet our funding levels.”
The poor market for recyclables is due in part to low oil prices that make it cheaper for industry to make new plastic rather than use recycled plastic, and the strong U.S. dollar that makes it cheaper for foreign countries such as China to buy recycled paper from Europe.
West Virginia recycling efforts have been hit hard by the current market situation and funding reductions, and recently Charleston’s Recycling Center was closed altogether. Morgan County’s Recycling Center benefits from several grants, but still has a large budget shortfall.
“As with most recycling operations in West Virginia, we depend on public contributions and volunteers,” said Solid Waste Authority Coordinator Ellen Smith. “Recycling is not a money-maker, but it is the right thing to do for the environment and we must maintain it here in Morgan County. The Authority is trying to ensure a clean environment for our county, our children, and future generations.”
The Solid Waste Authority has expressed hopes that the Recycling Center will be able to reopen on Mondays.
They plan to initiate a campaign to encourage public contributions to allow this to happen.
For more information you can call Ellen Smith at 304-258-8718.