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Sanitation Department takes advantage of temporary spike in aluminum prices
Josh Roberts.jpg

Rising prices for aluminum led to a tidy sum in the pockets of the county Sanitation Department.

Tuesday night, the county Health and Welfare Committee met to review numbers for the month of May and the monthly report showed aluminum recycling prices were higher than typical, leaping from 38 cents per pound to 52 cents.

“You’ll see the price of aluminum has gone up, so I tried to haul all I could this past month,” said Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts. “We normally haul a load a month, but I went and got all I could from the convenience center when it jumped in price. I don’t think it would have stayed that price for long.”

“That was smart,” said Commissioner Kasey Owens.

The total reaped from selling the aluminum cans was $1,652.

In total, the facility recycled 28.23 tons of cardboard, 2.5 tons of plastic, 25.8 tons of newsprint, 1.53 tons aluminum, 32.77 tons of metal, six used batteries, 2,860 used passenger tires, 150 truck tires, 1 ton and 250 gallons of used oil, and 2 tons of electronics during May.

Recycling efforts, from all sources, netted $8,115 for the Sanitation Department and made up 15% of the year’s total.

Other business discussed included the proposed acquisition of a roll-off truck for the department. Budget and Finance Committee members rejected the request for two roll-off trucks in a recent meeting which prompted Roberts to ask the Health and Welfare Committee to consider amending a previous approval for two trucks to one using money from Sanitation’s fund balance so he could present a renewed request to the full Warren County Commission.

Roll-off trucks are used to move roll-off bins when they arrive at recycling centers and the ones currently in operation, according to Roberts, are in diminishing condition. The department has a $304,000 overage for the year. Being able to purchase one truck would cost $178,962.

“Do you see any other pressing needs that you have, Josh?” asked commissioner Blaine Wilcher.

“I know we’ve bought a lot of equipment over the past two years but it was much needed. After this roll-off truck, I can promise you that we’re on-par.” responded Roberts. “To answer your question, no, I don’t see that we will need to purchase another piece of equipment.”

Commissioner David Dunlap motioned to approve the request, Casey Owens seconded the motion and none opposed. The proposal must go before the full Warren County Commission before the roll-off truck can be purchased.