Recyclers have options after center’s closingWith the closing of 4 R’s Recycling Center, some Jamestown residents are seeking alternative means to recycle leftover and waste materials. 4 R’s, which is run by Helen and Gary Rosenau, Carrington, N.D., closed earlier this month because the value of recyclable materials decreased, it’s rent increased and because the center is behind on sorting.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
With the closing of 4 R’s Recycling Center, some Jamestown residents are seeking alternative means to recycle leftover and waste materials.
4 R’s, which is run by Helen and Gary Rosenau, Carrington, N.D., closed earlier this month because the value of recyclable materials decreased, it’s rent increased and because the center is behind on sorting.
As of Wednesday, 4 R’s has no immediate plans to reopen, said Charlie Kourajian, recycling advocate and Jamestown City Council member, although Ralph Friedel, owner of Renaissance Recycling, which recycles electronic equipment, has publicly expressed interest in purchasing 4 R’s.
Friedal attended the Jamestown City Council’s Finance and Legal Committee Tuesday, inquiring about the recycling center’s agreement with the city and if the city would continue subsidizing the center if it fell to new owners. The city gives the center a $2,500 subsidy each month.
Neither Friedal, nor Helen and Gary Rosenau were available for comment Wednesday.
Kourajian said no formal motion was made, but Friedal seemed satisfied the city would continue the program.
A decision regarding the center is expected by the end of the month, Kourajian said.
In the meantime, some residents found other ways to recycle at least some materials.
Representatives from Gerdau Ameristeal Recycling (formerly called Porter Brothers), 1510 10th St. S.E., and West End Hide, Fur and Metal Company, 3445 82nd Ave. S.E. (behind Jamestown Livestock) said they haven’t seen a significant increase in recyclables, but they have seen some new faces.
“We’re seeing different people come in,” said Mike Oster, vice president at West End Hide, Fur and Metal.
Both companies accept and pay for metal materials like scrap iron, brass, copper, stainless steel and aluminum cans.
“We’ll pay for pretty much anything that’s metal,” said Gene Johnson, manager at Gerdau Ameristeal Recycling.
Both companies also accept appliances but they won’t pay the recyclers for them.
Neither accepts paper, plastic, glass or clothing.
In order to recycle all her materials, Jamestown resident Jennifer Kross hauled her cans, bottles and other items to a recycling center in Bismarck. She drives to the city for work anyway, she said, so although dropping off the materials in Jamestown was more convenient, she said she wants to recycle and conserve however possible.
“I think that we should just use the resources that we have over so we don’t have to keep re-digging the earth,” Kross said.
Some residents and businesses have taken the materials to the landfill, said Bill Snyder, city sanitation foreman. He estimates the added garbage amounts to about 15 tons every week. Each year, Jamestown residents and businesses add about 14,000 tons of material to the landfill.
For some recyclables, the landfill is the only alternative disposal site in town, Snyder said.
“They wouldn’t be bringing it here if there was another option,” he said.
Like Kross, Terry Shaffer, who lives just outside of Jamestown, carted his recyclables along with him on a trip he’d already planned for Fargo. He said the errand added an hour to his trip, but keeping natural resources out of the landfill is worth it.
“To me it seems like the right thing to do,” he said, saying recycling reduces the amount of trash his family throws away by half.
Kross said not all Jamestown residents have scheduled trips Bismarck or Fargo like she and Shaffer do, but to keep materials out of the landfill some could consider teaming up to make the 100-mile drive. But traveling that far just for recycling isn’t necessarily the best idea either, Shaffer said.
“It wouldn’t make sense to spend that much on gas to make a special trip,” he said.
Another option for residents is to save the recyclables, Kourajian said, for if and when the recycling center reopens.
A decision is expected by February.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com