MOREHEAD, Ky. (FOX 56) — Reduce, reuse, and recycle—it’s a lesson we’re all taught from a young age.
Now in Rowan County, it’s a lesson put on full display.
In early September, the Morehead-Rowan-MSU Community Recycling Center received a big boost to its operation to the tune of $204,000. That money is now being distributed to a number of areas, including the continuation of free services like 24-hour drop-off of recyclables.
A large chunk of the funding, which came from grants awarded by the state, will go towards new equipment. The facility’s current location opened at the turn of the century, and since then there has always been a desire to grow. The big prize is a new shredder and bailor combo. The center already has one, but they’re small machines, so the hope is that the new one will increase production and efficiency.
Simply put, the money will help keep recyclable materials off the streets of Morehead and keep the mountains beautiful.
“Of course, our main objective, you know, is keeping it out of the landfill, and this material is getting reused,” said center Director Tyler Brown. “That’s our main goal. We’re recycling right around 100,000 pounds of material a month.”
Brown said recycling is crucial to maintaining a healthy environment, a beautiful community, and reducing solid waste in the area.
According to the Kentucky Recyclers Association, the annual economic impact of the recycling industry is roughly $1.8 billion.
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In 2022, Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 45, which would benefit companies that break down recycled plastics to use in new products.
Brown says even the smallest efforts from people and businesses can go a long way toward keeping the county clean.
“On an average year, right now I think we’re around maybe 5 to 6000 bags of trash that we pick up off the side of the road,” Brown explained. “It definitely helps. I’m sure if we didn’t have these recycling centers, you would see a lot more stuff out on these roadsides. It’d be probably ten times as worse.”
According to the most recent US Environmental Protection Agency report, recycling and composting efforts saved the equivalent of more than 193 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide.
To learn more about the Morehead-Rowan-MSU Recycling Center, you can find that information here.