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Board to vote on recycling center lease

A lease transferring control of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority's Slack Street recycling center to a for-profit recycler will go before the agency's board for a vote Tuesday.

West Virginia Recycling Services, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Draw Enterprises, will lease the building for $1 per year, if the agreement is approved. The company would also pay the Solid Waste Authority $5.50 for every ton of recycling processed at the center, according to the lease.

The lease has stipulations.

West Virginia Recycling Services must process 25 percent of the average monthly tonnage calculated over the previous 12 months. If it fails to do so over 90 consecutive days, the building and all improvements will revert back to the Solid Waste Authority.

The authority's board of directors opted to close the building when combustible dust and structural issues were discovered in March.

The agency has been hemorrhaging money ever since.

Items can no longer be processed at the site. Recyclables collected at the public drop-off bins and from curbside pickup by Charleston employees are hauled to facilities in Raleigh and Jackson counties.

"I think this agreement is going to be a great deal," authority board member Rod Watkins said.

"We've really been working hard to get this lease finalized, and I think it's the best thing for us," he added. 

Authority board member Kasey Russell also believes the public/private partnership will jumpstart recycling in the county.

The agreement will allow the authority to focus primarily on public education about the importance of recycling. The hope is that more awareness will increase the amount of material processed at the center, Russell said.

"I envision the (Solid Waste) authority being the authority on recycling and waste reduction," Russell said in a written statement.

The period of the lease is for five years with two five-year extensions being optional.

"If the partnership doesn't work, we will be back to our current situation, which none of us can afford," Russell added. "I hope for all of our sakes, this public/private partnership will be finalized and we really can put a recycling program in place that we can all be proud of."  

The lease also addressed equipment currently owned by the Solid Waste Authority.

The company may also agree to pay the authority an additional $1-per-ton fee for the use of equipment at the center that was purchased using grant funds, according to the lease.

The fee would be paid to the authority until the amount equals the value of the equipment, according to the statement.

The value of the equipment will be determined when company and authority officials meet before Tuesday, said George Hunyadi, a partner with West Virginia Recycling Services.

The company also plans on purchasing equipment currently owned by the authority that was not bought using grant funds, Hunyadi said. The cost of this equipment will be offset by the company's purchase of a new scale, which will run approximately $70,000, he said. 

For example, if the equipment being purchased is valued at $100,000, then the company would pay the authority $30,000, Hunyadi said.

However, the scale becomes the property of the authority once it is installed, Watkins said.

There is no provision in the lease outlining what items the company must recycle. However, Hunyadi expressed his determination to maintain the same services prior to the spring shutdown of the building.

This would include glass, he said.

There is a very small market for recycled glass, and Hunyadi is working with companies to find a use for recycled glass, he said.

"I'm talking to a company that is looking at doing a pilot program where they would use crushed glass on jogging paths," he said.

The Solid Waste Authority previously gave pulverized glass away to residents for decorative purposes. The pulverized glass is safe to use as a ground covering and is not sharp.

Hunyadi hopes to have all renovations completed and the recycling center up and running before spring. He plans to use West Virginia contractors in the renovations, he said.

The lease will be before the Solid Waste Authority board during a meeting that begins at 10 a.m. The board meets in a trailer next to the Slack Street recycling center.  

Contact writer Paul Fallon at paul.fallon@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817. Follow him at www.twitter.com/PaulBFallon.


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