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City puts plastic recycling on hold

Recycling in the city of McMinnville has been put on hold. VIAM/ Vicam does not want the city’s plastic bottles at this time.
Alderman Rick Barnes says he works for VIAM and the business entering into an agreement with the city is not doable at this time.
“I work for VIAM and I would love to see a recycling program, but they have to go through a process to get this plant up and running and right now, they are trying to do it with virgin material and they can’t do what they need to do with it so we have plenty of time,” said Barnes, who chairman of the city’s Streets and Sanitation Committee.
VIAM Manufacturing, a Japanese company, operates a plant in Manchester that produces PET-stable carpet fiber from clear recycling PET bottles. A new facility is operated by Vicam, a newly formed subsidiary.
McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock says he heard a similar story.
“I spoke with them and they are having to use a different type of product and they don’t want our bottles right now,” Brock said. “They can’t use them. We’ve looked at them. We’ve looked at other recyclers. We had one guy in here talking to us and he just disappeared. Recycling is a tough issue.”
Barnes suggested the city consider recycling aluminum cans, to which Brock stated, “Everybody is taking them themselves.”
This is not the first time officials have considered beginning a recycling program. Alderman Billy Wood says he went to Franklin to look at its recycling process when recycling was previously considered.
“They told us it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you won’t recycle the first can,” said Wood. “He said everyone learns the route and goes through taking the cans. When the crew goes through, all the cans are gone.”
Individuals helping themselves to discarded items can be a common occurrence.
“I had a hot tub that we put out the other day in the front yard and it was gone during lunch,” said Alderman Ken Smith.
When the laughter died down, Brock stated, “If anyone knows of a recycler, send them our way.”
McMinnville Public Works can be reached at 473-2553.


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