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Director of sanitation seeks in-house baling
Josh Roberts.jpg
Josh Roberts

The Warren County Sanitation Department continues to discuss the possibility, and the need, to bale and sort their recyclables in-house.

Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts recently gave his March report to the Warren County Health and Welfare Committee. Committee member Joseph Stotts asked Roberts the process of transporting cardboard. Roberts answered with the scheduled pickup times and that the department compacts loose cardboard, then ships it to Coffee County Recyc-ling where the cardboard is sorted, baled and sold.

“Right now, we’re hauling that to Coffee County,” Roberts said, “He’s paying us 50% of what that cardboard is bringing.” 

That’s when Roberts brought up the in-house baling idea. He said he has nowhere to sort cardboard and no equipment to bale it, and that’s why they ship it to Coffee County.

“If we had a building and we had a baler, we could use our trustees,” Roberts told the committee, “and we could sort our own cardboard, and we could sell it at 100%.”

Stotts asked if we have ever sorted our own cardboard in which Roberts answered, “No.” 

In March, nine trips were made to dump our cardboard to Coffee County for sorting. “If we could do it here in-house, we would save on our maintenance and repair on all our trucks. We would save on our fuel and time on a driver.”

Stotts did some quick math on how much we would save each year, and he estimated around $15,000 could be saved by sorting and baling our own cardboard.

“It’s going to be a cost to the county up front. Don’t get me wrong” Roberts said, “but it’s going to pay off in the long run.” 

He said that the building would last more than 50 years and a new baler would last for about 30 years.

“The last year, I’ve been pushing for a building,” Roberts said. “This committee has already approved the use of a grant to finance a new building, but the Budget and Finance Committee put it off for now. I’d like to see it done. I think it would really help.” 

Roberts said with a building, they would also be able to sort, bale and sell plastic and aluminum cans as well.