Solid Waste Authority moves closer to recycling center deal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Although a deal for the takeover of the Slack Street recycling center was not inked on Tuesday, at least one member of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority believes he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
Board member Rod Watkins hopes the lease, which would turn the Slack Street recycling center over to West Virginia Recycling Services, will be finalized and signed at a Dec. 4 meeting.
"We still need to iron out some of the details of the lease," Watkins said. "I think this is our best bet at this point."
The authority will lease the building to the company for a fee instead of a rent payment, Watkins said. The authority will take $5.50 from every ton of recycling that moves through the center, he said.
The lease will be for five years, with the option of two, five-year extensions. The building would also revert back to the authority if it were not used as a recycling center, Watkins said.
The reversion clause still needs to be made final, he said.
For example, the details of what will trigger the reversion need to be decided.
The Solid Waste Authority attorney is looking at whether the building should revert back to the agency if the company fails to recycle any items for a set period of time, or whether it would be best to require the company to recycle a specific amount of material within a specific timeframe, Watkins said.
Another issue that needs to be resolved is possession of the equipment in the center.
The company will use some of the equipment on site, but whether that equipment will be sold or leased to them is something that still needs to be decided.
George Hunyadi, a partner with West Virginia Recycling Services, will present to board members a list of needed equipment, Watkins said.
The Slack Street recycling center was closed last March when combustible dust was found in the 104-year-old building. Structural issues also prompted board members to close the facility.
A public dropoff at the center was reopened a few weeks later, but the authority has been forced to haul all materials to Raleigh and Jackson counties for processing.
The center has been unable to make much of a profit off recyclables because the items cannot be processed at the center.
Hunyadi is eager to get the operation up and running once again, he said. He believes he can reopen the Slack Street Center by investing about $250,000 in the structure.
He hopes to have the center up and running as soon as possible, he said. He is unsure how long it will take to complete the renovations.
"I'm not sure about the weather or the contractors' schedules," he said. "But I hope I can get the roof put on and the concrete work done before we get into really bad weather."
Hunyadi also believes the two parties are close to reaching a deal on the lease.
"We haven't scored yet, but we're on third base," he said. "We just need to fine tune the details."
Hunyadi hopes to begin recycling about 1,000 tons of materials in the months to come. He will approach businesses and governmental organizations such as the Kanawha County Board of Education in hopes of obtaining recyclables, he said.
He plans to hire six people to run the center when it opens. Interviews should be sometime in December, he said. Six employees at the Slack Street recycling center are employed by the Solid Waste Authority.
Hunyadi might need more employees as business grows, he said.
Those employees will not be given preference when it comes to working for the company, Watkins said. The Solid Waste Authority is unsure what staffing levels will be needed to run the agency, he said.
For example, the agency will focus on educating members of the public to increase the amount of recycling brought through the center, Watkins said. Other public drop off sites may also be set up around the county, he said.
A tentative date for the next Solid Waste Authority meeting is Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. in the trailer next to the Slack Street recycling center.