Adams County Solid Waste Management District Director Hank Mayer, in his year-end report to the board on Tuesday, focused primarily on the county's recycling program and its direct and indirect benefit to county residents.
He said the sale of recycled material generated nearly $76,000 in 2012. While that figure was down from $104,500 the previous year, Mayer said the decrease was reflected in lower prices paid by vendors for recylables. The total amount of materials recycled by the district in 2012 was 979 tons — a 46-ton increase over 2011.
Cardboard collection alone increased by 50 tons last year over 2011levels, he said, primarily due to the efforts of solid waste district employee Camille Oetting. Mayer said Oetting has been out actively "drumming up business" to buoy the cardboard recycling program. The district sold 492 tons of cardboard last year.
Other recyclables collected and sold by the district during 2012 (with 2011 numbers in parentheses) included: newsprint, 106.5 tons (102.25); No. 1 plastic, 25.65 tons (21.95); No. 2 plastic, 22.6 tons (22); aluminum, 3,0 tons (3.25); mixed paper, 102.9 tons (104.8); scrap metal, 47.6 tons (53.1); magazines, 71.9 tons (94.7); shredded paper, 10.1 tons (7.8); batteries, 980 pounds (1,125 pounds); oil, 1,388 gallons (1,200 gallons); glass, 64.0 tons (67); and electronics, 31.1 tons (12.3).
Mayer said the 979 tons of material recycled last year resulted in the diversion of more than 55 semi-trailer loads of solid waste to the Waste Management Inc. landfill in Jay County. The county would have paid more than $42,000 in dumping fees for those materials, he said. Coupled with the money generated through the sale of recyclables during 2012, Mayer estimated the county's recycling program represented a savings to county taxpayers last year of $118,000.
The director reminded board members that the district has expanded its plastic recycling program and is now accepting No. 3, 4, 5 and 7 plastic materials. Previously only No. 1 and No. 2 plastic bottles were accepted. Mayer issued a plea for residents to keep No. 1 and No. 2 plastics separated for delivery to the county transfer station. The other products may be co-mingled, he said.
In a related announcement, Mayer reported that district recycling coordinator Weldon Schaefer was retired. The position will go unfilled in 2013, but Mayer sought and received board permission to transfer $20,400 in various personnel line items within this year's budget. Some of that money will be used to grant a $1 per hour pay increase to employee Jerry Hall, who has agreed to take over the recycling coordination efforts in 2013.