For 2021, Public Works Director Lon Schrader said the amount of recycling sold by the city was roughly equal to the city’s five year average.
“This year, we processed and bailed about 244 tons of recyclable material,” Schrader said. “That is right dead on our five year average is a slight like 10% increase from last year. I went back to the last five years and it’s absolutely right on the average, the five year average is 239 tons.”
The material processed, bailed and solid by the recycling center includes corrugated cardboard, pressed cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines, aluminum and glass. While Schrader doesn’t keep an eye on the changing market prices for recycled materials, public works did sell the bales at an increased profit compared to last year.
“The dollar amount that we took in for the material that we sold was three and a half times bigger or larger this year than last year,” he said. “So, the demand that’s all driven by the market for recyclable material is a roller coaster… There is a big demand for it so the prices are totally driven by the supply and demand. We have a reputation of having pretty clean material here. So we have some regular buyers that use our products.”
Schrader noticed a trend for 2021 with the materials given to the center, which was the increasing amount of corrugated cardboard and a decreasing amount of newspapers.
“The biggest thing that I noticed and I don’t have any scientific factual numbers for you, but the corrugated cardboard we received was way up,” Schrader said. “When I look at the material that we sold for the year, we sold out of that 244 tons almost half of that was corrugated cardboard. That is a high number in comparison with the rest of the material. I think the thing that has dropped the most, I hate to tell you this in the newspapers. We used to process and bale probably three to four times the newspapers we do today.”
For the increase of corrugated cardboard, Schrader figures it is the aftermath of online shopping induced by the pandemic.
“I think you and I could probably both sit here and figure that there is probably an increase in that because of people staying home and ordering online,” he said.
“I would say we’re taking on probably a 50% increase in corrugated cardboard from what we were at,” Schrader added. “We used to know for a long time, we might sell four truckloads a year and I think we’re probably selling six now.”
All the money received from selling the materials goes back to the recycling center funds for the maintenance and day-to-day for the building.
The Future of the
Schrader decided the future goals for the recycling center would focus on updating the building and fixing some equipment. For visitors who stopped by the facility in summer or winter knowing that the building takes on the temperature, Schrader wants to see if he can insulate the center.
“I have been kicking around thoughts about trying to insulate the entire building,” he said. “Anybody that’s ever been out at the recycling center in the middle of the summer or in the middle of the winter knows what kind of wild fluctuations. We have extremes of temperature, it can get extremely cold out there and it can get extremely hot.”