Recycling and R3 Committee’s Progress

Courtesy of the Public Works Department

In 1998, The Landings Association began a recycling program for old newspapers. In 2002, the Association expanded the recycling to include glass, paper, and plastic, which was collected through dumpsters. Shortly after the expansion, the program was shut-down due to continued financial losses and the lack of appropriate vendors to sort and dispose of the recyclables. Through a generous Landlovers’ grant, The Landings Association was able to open the current Recycling Center on McWhorter Drive in 2008, where the center has operated the recycling of aluminum (which goes to the Boy Scouts and to benefit burn victims), mixed media paper, plastic, and cardboard.

In November 2018, the mixed media paper compactor was removed from the Center due to foreign import restrictions and a lack of appropriate facilities to recycle mixed media paper in the United States. It’s no surprise to most that the recycling market has drastically changed over the years, and it has become very costly to run recycling centers, specifically ones like ours.

One of the biggest challenges the Association faces with the Center is cross-contamination…. plastics getting mixed in with cardboard, food containers being left in boxes, or simply incorrect items being placed in the wrong compactors. When cross-contamination exists within a load, the load is not able to be properly recycled, which ultimately results in a loss of potential earnings for the Association.

The R3 (Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse) Committee was formed last year with two major goals -- develop a plan to generate a cost-neutral Center and reduce the amount of cross-contamination within our loads through community education. Since the committee’s formation and the countless volunteer hours its members have given to the center, all of The Landings Association’s recyclable loads have been accepted (with minimal contamination), and the community is more informed now than ever before.

While we still have a long road ahead and uncertainty regarding the Center’s future existence remains, the Association is grateful for the continued efforts the R3 committee has exhibited to help improve recycling within the community!

As a reminder, the new hours of operation for the Recycling Center are listed below:

  • Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m.
  • The Center is closed Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day and observes limited hours on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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