The city of Atmore, forced to close its recycling center in late October when the provider announced that it would raise its fees from $260 per month to $13,000 per month, has apparently found a solution to the problem.
Mayor Jim Staff announced this week that the city had formed a partnership with Poarch Band of Creek Indians that will not only benefit the municipality and the tribe, but also has the blessing of state environmental officials.
“The city and Poarch are partnering on recycling now,” Staff said. “They are almost through with their new facility, just off (Alabama) Highway 21, on five acres. They have two balers and they will be accepting cardboard and white paper in the near future.”
The mayor said city officials have been notified by Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) officials of preliminary approval of a grant that will allow the city to purchase recycling trailers to which citizens will be able to bring their recyclables.
“We can put those trailers out in our recycling area (off East Ridgeley Street), and we can take them to Poarch’s facility when they get full,” he said. “At first they will be accepting just cardboard and white paper, but down the road they plan to accept plastic, too.”
Staff revealed that officials of Atmore, Poarch and ADEM plan to tour the landfill in Cantonment, Fla. as a possible site for disposing of the recycled materials. He said the partnership will be a boon to the city’s effort to reduce the stress on the local landfill.
“It’s coming, and we want to be right in the middle of it,” he said.
Until then, residents should continue to place their recycling at curbside for pickup by city trucks.
“That’s all we can do right now,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be much longer before we’ll start taking stuff to Poarch.”