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Recycling center continues record-setting trend in '06

Pierce County's recycling center continued its record-setting pace by marketing over 4,000 tons of materials last year, generating over $400,000 in revenues.

2006 marked the third consecutive year for the center to achieve this milestone, according to the annual report from the county's solid waste department. Specifically, the numbers were 4,309 for tonnage and $403,837 for revenue.

In other '06 milestones, the facility received an annual record-high 4,324 tons of incoming recyclable materials and processed an annual record-high 4,367 tons of recyclable materials, the report states. Last August, the staff processed a monthly record high of 463 tons of recyclable materials.

The center also experienced a decline of 257 tons of container-type materials (plastics, metals and glass) marketed, compared to the previous record-high year of 2005. The decrease was attributed to the waste haulers delivering less container-type materials last year. The higher market prices paid for aluminum and steel cans provided financial incentives for the haulers to divert more non-contracted/obligated container-type material tons to other end processors paying for materials.

The facility was able to offset this loss by marketing 2,956 tons of fiber-type materials (1,734 tons of cardboard and 1,222 tons of newspaper, magazines and mixed paper) in '06, a 443 ton increase over '05.

But a total of 179 less tons of mixed unmarketable colored glass was shipped to Adams County as compared to the previous year (618 vs. 797). Again, this was attributed to receiving less container-type materials from private waste haulers.

The mixed glass is the broken colored glass that couldn't be recovered for marketing by the facility's staff when processing container-type materials. Adams County uses the mixed glass as road base material in a variety of road projects. Additionally, 50 tons of unmarketable mixed colored glass was shipped to the Pierce County Highway Department for use as clean fill material.

As for trash, 107 tons was disposed by the center last year, less than the 141 tons recorded in '05. The weight represented approximately two percent of the total weight of materials processed there. Processing fewer container-type materials reportedly caused the decrease.