GIRARD, KS.--- The Southeast Kansas Recycling Center had some financial struggles last year, and if things don't change soon, its future could be in jeopardy. They are having financial issues, but it's not because they don't have enough to recycle. The recycling center is not receiving good rates for the amount of materials they are attempting to sell overseas.
"The market prices right now, that's our biggest battle," said Tausha Ritz, Recycling Operation Manager.
It's normal for market prices to fluctuate for tons of recyclable material. For the past year, they have only been at severely low rates.
"We do get a lot of material in, and it does cost us to process the material. However, the market prices, the way they are, they're just unstable," said Ritz.
The operators of the recycling center have turned to Crawford County for assistance, however they are in urgent need of a long term plan to keep the center open.
"We're working on a plan to try to find other sources of material. For example, trying to do a better job at working with our commercial entities," said Dr. Jim Triplett, Board of Directors President.
It costs about $5,000 a month to operate the recycling center. Crawford County has agreed to provide two months worth of funding.
"I'm really hoping to see that the market prices do increase and we're able to bring on more full time people, because the volume is still here. There's still so many people that recycle in this area," said Ritz.
"A lot of people would be upset not having this option. I'm hopeful. I think we will work something out. We just have to figure out what we have to do to adjust to this new normal," said Dr. Triplett.
The center has also implemented a number of changes so it can run more efficiently. They've changed what items can be submitted and what days and times people can drop items off. For residents, the center is open Tuesday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Businesses can make drop offs at the center on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is closed Sunday and Monday.
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