Recycling Dropoff/Buyback Center Opens – November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chuck Schager, Juanita Howell and Vincent Bianco. KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

NINTH STREET – After months without one, Arcata once again has a handy place for residents to drop off their old newspapers, cardboard, tin cans, plastics number one through seven, colored plastic and more. And it’s in a location many Arcatans can drive to simply by muscle memory – the former Arcata Community Recycling Center dropoff depot at 1445 10th St., on the corner of 10th and N streets.

Chuck Schager, recycling and resource manager for Fortuna-based Eel River Resource Recovery, said he was excited to reopen the former ACRC site, closed since January.

When it first opened last week, customers were few, as word hadn’t gotten around yet that the dropoff center was open again. But Schager was confident that people who don’t participate in the City’s mandatory curbside recycling service would turn up once they were aware that they didn’t need to drive to McKinleyville or Eureka any more.

“We saw the need for a recycling center up here,” Schager said. “It’s a great city, because they’re so recycling knowledgable.”

“It’s another option and definitely adds a convenience factor having a buy-back in Arcata,” said Mark Andre, director of Environmental Services. “I think it’s a positive for the community. There’s been a void.”

Arcata’s armies of freestyle recyclers, who raid dumpsters and curbside toters for CRV recyclables, may be disappointed to learn that the new facility pays for bought-back materials by check.

“They’re going to run a clean operation and not let people bring shopping carts full of stuff in,” Andre said.

Nor will the center accept materials collected under sketchy circumstances. Schager said his company is in close communication with police, who alert their personnel when recyclable materials are stolen. “We definitely work with local law enforcement,” he said.

Schager welcomed citizens who may have had something recyclable stolen to contact the center at (707) 822-5156.

The center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The center also buys used car batteries for 13 cents a pound. More services will be added as time goes on. Free e-waste collection days are planned. A grand opening will be held in a few weeks.

Site Manager Juanita Howell is a returning employee, having worked in the same place for ACRC.

“We want to make sure we employ local people so the City of Arcata and Humboldt County keep their dollars here,” Schager said.