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.