FLORENCE — Lauderdale County Solid Waste Manager Robert Bevis said the only way to handle the growing response to the county’s recycling effort is to expand.
Bevis, with a nod from the County Commission, is working with the city of Florence to apply for funds to help buy additional trailers that could expand the program.
Bevis told the commission during a recent work session he will be joining Florence to apply for a grant through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
“I have asked for six trailers and a new truck to pull the trailers,” Bevis told commissioners. “I have a lot of small municipalities, fire departments and community centers constantly asking for recycling trailers. And we don’t have them.”
He said are 10 trailers for recyclables placed throughout Lauderdale County and they stay full.
“We will average taking four or five trailers a day to the (Florence) recycling center,” Bevis said.
Commissioner Roger Garner said getting more recycling trailers is a good move.
“Recycling is something that is really catching on,” Garner said during a work session.
Commissioner Fay Parker said the program has outgrown expectations. It began in January 2010.
County officials said since recycling began, the county has collected more than 2.4 million pounds of recyclable material.
“I’ve had calls after calls from different communities that would like to have a recycling trailer,” Parker said.
Bevis said if funding for the trailers and the truck is approved, he hopes to be able to place the extra trailers at different functions and festivals throughout the county.
“We could put them at a fire department that is having a fish fry, put one at a festival somewhere or a community center for a day or two,” Bevis said. “There are a lot of possibilities to meet the growing demand.”
Commissioners agreed for Bevis to proceed with the application process.
“Whatever we get, if anything, will be helpful,” Commission Chairman Dewey Mitchell said.
Bevis said it’s his understanding that the city of Florence will continue to apply for the ADEM grants.
“So, we should be able to apply for other things in the future,” Bevis said. “We’ll apply this year, see what we get and go from there.”
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.