CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority is closing its satellite drop recycling facilities however their main Slack Street center will continue to accept recyclables. Plummeting values for recyclables are forcing them to close its satellite drop-off points immediately.
Authority Director Norm Steenstra said drop-off points in Cross Lanes, Southridge, Sissonville, Chelyan, Clendenin and Elkview will be closed until further notice. County residents can still bring their recyclable materials to the recycling center on Slack Street in Charleston. In the past few weeks, Steenstra said, the bottom has dropped out of the market for all recyclable materials. He blames the crash on a bad economy.
“We haven’t shipped any cardboard out for several weeks,” he said. “We usually ship six or seven trucks a week. “We’re getting more stuff in than ever, but we can’t sell it.”
Steenstra said the Solid Waste Authority has been making money for the past several years selling cardboard, newsprint, plastic and other recyclable materials. Not anymore.
In September, he said, Steenstra was getting $115 a ton for used cardboard. “I can’t even find a market at $30 a ton now,” he said.
Steenstra said the Solid Waste Authority brought in $111,000 in revenue from recyclables in September. That number will plummet to about $37,000 in November, he said.
The blow is especially hard for Steenstra, who has always been a staunch environmentalist. For 20 years I’ve been trying to increase recycling rates in West Virginia. But if you can’t sell it, what are you going to do?” he said.
Closing the satellite drops will mean people in other parts of the county will have to store their recyclables, bring them to Slack Street or put them in the landfill. He hopes they don’t throw them away.