Record setting year for recycling facility

Recycling in Alpena County on trend to set another record year

ALPENA — A record setting 2016 is predicted to be followed by another record setting year at the Alpena County Resource and Recovery facility.

In 2016 the recycling facility took in 1.5 million pounds of recyclable goods that were shipped to the market. This is 750 tons of material that otherwise would have filled a landfill, according to Facilities Manager Stanley Mischley.

The 1.5 million pounds of recyclable goods broke the 2015 record of 1.25 million pounds and Mischley expects the new year to continue the trend.

“I think it will be another great year for us,” he said. “It’s only the seventh day of the year and we’ve received 22 recycle bins.”

With the facility processing 80 recycle bins in 2015, and 81 in 2016, the 22 bins is on track to exceed those numbers significantly.

The plant takes in paper, plastic, cardboard, tin, aluminum and electronics items from all Alpena County residents with their recycling permit. Out-of-county residents also can purchase a permit to recycle acceptable items to the facility.

Mischley said he has no problem with out-of-county residents bringing items to the facility as long as they have their permits and follow the rules. This was a big issue for about half of the people using the recycling program.

“We hope that the people would pay attention to what is on the side of the recycle bins,” he said. “About 50 percent of the people who recycle follow the guidelines, then there is about 25 percent who think they’re doing it right but are not and then there is the other 25 percent who just throw in garbage.”

Mischley recommended people who wish to take advantage of the program look to what the bins say on the side, visit the facility’s website and even give a quick call to make sure you are following the guidelines.

One of the changes for the new year was the implementation of a business permit. Starting the first of this year, businesses are being charged $100 to help offset the higher portion of items coming from a business than an individual.

While Mischley was happy about the increased volume the facility was seeing he also was looking to the future and acquiring a larger, more automated facility in the coming years.

“It’s great to have the higher volume but our problem out here is that the building is not big enough for us,” he said. “We have seen such an increase that we don’t have enough room.”

Mischley hopes a larger building with some automation could help the improve its recycling efficiency.

You can find the guidelines on its website at www.alpenarecycling.org or by calling the facility at 354-2607.

Tyler Winowiecki can be reached via email at twinowiecki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Tyler on Twitter tw_alpenanews. Read his blog, Just a Thought … at www.thealpenanews.com.