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Proposed shed could help county's recycling efforts
Josh Roberts.jpg

Warren County Sanitation Department is seeking to improve its recycling efforts if a request for a storage shed is approved.

Commissioner are currently considering how best to spend more than $1 million allotted to Warren County government by Gov. Bill Lee. Those funds can be spent on capital improvement projects and Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts has requested $110,000 to construct a storage shed that he says would also be used to improve the county’s recycling efforts.

The request is for a storage shed 60 feet wide by 140 feet long at an estimated cost of $109,000.

“The equipment shed would house five of our roll-off trucks which are right now sitting out in the weather,” said Roberts. “It would house two frontload trucks and store the skid steer, tractor and bush hog. Right now, we have $1.5 million worth of equipment sitting outside. We have zero storage.”

A portion of the shed – approximately 60 wide by 40 long – would be used to house a cardboard baler. 

Those machines are used to crush large amounts of cardboard into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store. At this time, the department does not have a baler or room for one. 

Roberts says a baler would create a cost savings for the department in three areas: 1) free up manpower, 2) lessen wear and tear on trucks, and 3) reduce the department’s fuel cost.

“The cardboard company would give us a baler,” said Roberts. “We would pay for the baler with our materials. As soon as the baler is paid for, they would start paying us for the cardboard. Right now, we are hauling the cardboard to Coffee County and we’ve not been getting paid for it. Last month, we received $456. That was the first time we’ve received anything in months.”

The company picks up baled cardboard, eliminating between 12 and 15 trips the department makes to Coffee County each month. 

“That’s a lot of fuel in a year’s time,” said Roberts. “Time to drive it is about two hours, with 45 minutes there, 45 minutes back and unloading.”

Along with crushing and storing cardboard, the enclosed area would also be used to process other recycled materials such as plastic and aluminum cans. Roberts says trustees from Warren County Sheriff’s Department, as they do with the department’s vehicle tire collection site, could supply labor. 

The presentation and request was made before a joint meeting of the county’s Budget and Finance and Building and Grounds committees. No decision was made.