Tryon finds new home for recycling center

Published 1:16 pm Friday, April 18, 2008

Tryon Town Council has found a new home for its recycling center, just a few blocks away from the current one.

Tryon Town Council approved Tuesday moving the center from its current location on West Howard Street across from town hall to the town maintenance area on Maple Street. Town officials say the move is needed because the current location always was intended to be temporary, and the center has become so popular that it&squo;s run out of space.

Interim Tryon Town Manager Bob Shepard said the town has had to close its recycling center at times because there aren&squo;t enough bins to accommodate the center&squo;s use.

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&dquo;It&squo;s obvious that we&squo;ve outgrown our current location,&dquo; councilman Dennis Durham said. &dquo;It seems like we&squo;re closing at least a couple of days each week.&dquo;

The town has been considering permanent locations for the center since it opened last September. The depot was one location considered, but the town&squo;s zoning currently does not allow such a use there. Another location considered was a privately owned property on U.S. 176, although that would require a lease and additional money to prepare the site.

The town authorized the expenditure of up to $3,000 to prepare the maintenance shed site, although it has not determined the exact location on the grounds. Modifications to the maintenance yard may include fencing for security of maintenance vehicles and extra bins. There is room for five or six recycling bins at the maintenance yard, say town officials, compared to just four bins at the current West Howard Street site.

Bill McKaig and Cindy Walker of the Polk County Recycling Advisory Board reviewed the growing usage of Tryon&squo;s recycling center. Officials discussed whether the increased recycling is due to a new state law enacted this year requiring ABC permit holders, such as restaurants, to recycle, or if the momentum has built from more local residents picking up the practice.

Sparked by residents&squo; concerns about a low rate of recycling in the area, Tryon residents took the lead last year in a push to increase recycling.

Tryon set up its center, added bins and increased pickups. Volunteer McKaig has taken steps to pack the bins and maximize the amount of recyclables collected.

The town contracts with Allbright Sanitation to haul the recycling, which includes paper/cardboard and co-mingled bins. Tryon also has curbside pickup for residences and recently obtained special bins for its Wednesday pick-ups.

Town council members commented that the lack of space at the recycling center is&bsp; a good problem to have.

&dquo;It&squo;s been so successful, it&squo;s outgrown itself,&dquo; Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said.

Councilman Durham says he hopes the center&squo;s new location also will be temporary considering that Polk County is working on plans to establish county-wide recycling centers.

However, Walker said it appears the county&squo;s plans for recycling centers throughout the county will not be realized in the immediate future. She said the recycling board has discussed the possibility of a mobile recycling unit that would travel to different areas of the county for people to drop off their recycling. &bsp;

Walker added that McKaig has been urging the county to set up recycling bins at the Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office for the Columbus area to handle some of the recycling occurring in Tryon. County commissoners have discussed that possibility, but are waiting to see if Columbus goes through with its plans to establish a recycling center.