Group raising funds for Jamestown recycling centerThe Jamestown Recycling Coalition seeks to raise money and awareness for a business they say is relatively unknown. Christi Jarland, co-chair, and Tim Wiley, member of the Jamestown Recycling Taskforce, are organizing a chili feed and silent auction fundraiser to pay for infrastructure improvements to Renaissance Recycling, located in a cold-storage warehouse at 302 First Street West in Jamestown.
The Jamestown Recycling Coalition seeks to raise money and awareness for a business they say is relatively unknown.
Christi Jarland, co-chair, and Tim Wiley, member of the Jamestown Recycling Taskforce, are organizing a chili feed and silent auction fundraiser to pay for infrastructure improvements to Renaissance Recycling, located in a cold-storage warehouse at 302 First Street West in Jamestown.
The frigid temperatures are hard on recyclers and employees, Jarland said, plus it’s hard on equipment.
“Nobody needs to be trying to work gloveless when its 15 below,” Wiley said.
But just as important to the coalition as infrastructure improvements, is getting word out about the recycling center.
The current recycling center, Renaissance Recycling, opened last spring after its previous owners closed it, citing low commodity prices and rent they couldn’t afford. Renaissance Recycling reopened March 1 and since then, operated with an owner, Ralph Friebel, and one full-time employee. It processes about 100 tons of materials each month, material that would otherwise go to the landfill.
“He (Friebel) is providing the city a service,” Jarland said.
Now, the recycling center has two full-time employees, thanks to an increased subsidy from the city.
On a trial basis, the Jamestown City Council doubled its $2,500 monthly recycling center subsidy to $5,000. The increase lasts for six months and is contingent on improvements like an increase in volume, Friebel said.
“We feel like we’re making progress,” he said.
Residents have complained of the inconvenience of recycling. Now, the center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Other cities offer 24-hours drop-off sites, which is a convenience some residents wish Jamestown had as well.
With the extra funds, Renaissance Recycling hopes to increase its marketing and advertising efforts so more people know about the center. Its additional employee will also help with drop-offs at the center and picking up materials from business, Friebel said. That may make it more convenient for some. Plus, the coalition is developing a curb-side pick-up program which would allow residents to place their recyclables outside with their trash. Like garbage service, some entity would pick up the recyclables as well.
But problems with the recycling center aren’t limited to convenience.
The value of many commodities is higher than they were a year ago, but they’re still lower than average, Friebel said. He hopes the additional volume the center receives if more people know of and use the service will offset low commodity prices.
Recycling isn’t just about saving the landfill and environmental efforts, Wiley said. It also is about good business sense.
Agricover, where Wiley is the safety coordinator, began recycling and other waste reduction efforts two years ago. In 2009, the company saved $60,000, he said.
“It makes great business sense,” he said.
Recycling and reducing waste isn’t as common here compared to urban areas, Willey said. So he and Jarland are hoping to educate the community.
“It’s changing people’s mindsets and that’s really hard,” he said.
The chili feed and silent auction is set for 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Jamestown. Tickets are $7.50 a person or $20 per family.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454
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