Purdy Recycling starts new step in program

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Busy first day Democrat Photo/Murray Bishoff On Jan. 3, the Purdy Recycling Program's donation center was busy during its first weekday collection time. The program switched from the previous Saturday schedule. Jesus Perez, at left, assistant development officer for the Purdy Spanish Club, and Gerry Wass, faculty sponsor for the club, are shown dumping a load of plastic milk containers into the compactor. Chris Ibarra, club president, works on another compactor at right.

The Purdy Recycling program entered a new phase this week when it shifted to daytime collections. The recycling facility next to the city park is now open from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

A new coordinator has also been hired, the first job created by the program. Dahlia Bradley, who has volunteered in the recycling effort since its early days six years ago, will succeed Gerry Wass, the faculty supervisor for the Purdy High School Spanish Club, which runs the program.

Wass said the program will need to improve its money-making efforts to support employees. Being open longer hours should help the effort.

A new LED light sign has been acquired for the outside of the recycling building. The "open" sign will remind community members of the new hours, as well as new banners that will be displayed in town beginning next week.

The program should reach a milestone by the end of the current school year. By then, Wass calculated, a half million pounds of recyclables will have been reclaimed and not sent to landfills.

Students accept three different types of paper, three types of plastic, large pieces of styrofoam, aluminum and steel cans, cardboard and used oil filters for recycling. Wass encourages residents to pre-sort their donations, especially paper, Separated white paper is worth $100 a ton, compared to $15 a ton for assorted paper.

Donations of material have dropped 8,000 pounds from a year ago. Wass hopes with a more visible presence, the program will draw more items from residents in Purdy and surrounding areas.

The Utopian Bean coffee shop is offering a $1 off coupon to everyone who brings them 25 pounds or more of sorted paper during the month of January. Wass reported the offer has been well received and numerous coupons have been given out.

For more information, call the Purdy School District at 417-442-3216.

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