New county recycling center opens for business

After months of planning and renovation work, the new Jefferson County E-Waste and Recycling Center has opened its doors to the public.

Located behind Pope Furniture Co. on East Harding Avenue, the new center is “a work in progress,” said Daniel Marks, the legislative assistant and grants administrator for County Judge Dutch King,

“We’re trying to work out the kinks before we have a real grand opening,” Marks said Wednesday.

Linda Bobo, who works at the new center, said they’re glad to be indoors.

“We’re excited to be in out of the elements. People can drive in, open their doors and we will unload their vehicles, then they can drive right out,” Bobo said. “We wanted to make things as easy for the public as possible as a way to encourage recycling.”

The new center, which was closed last week, is replacing the former Pine Bluff Recycling Center located across from Taylor Field.

“We’re a one stop site for everything that can be recycled,” Marks said. “We take plastic, cardboard, aluminum cans, electronic items and there are dumpsters in the back for household garbage, and we’ve noticed that since we’ve been open, they’re having to empty the dumpsters more often.”

Future plans include the addition of an industrial size paper shredder so that people can shred their important documents in a timely manner rather than having to wait for the semi-annual shredding events that have been held in the past, Marks said.

“That’s going to help not only the citizens but will help us because there is a market for that kind of paper,” Marks said. “There will be an automatic bailer attached to the shredder and we can just pick up the bails, load them on a truck and ship them out.”

He said the new center will handle E-Waste from the five northern counties in the Southeast Arkansas Solid Waste District, Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson and Lincoln, and there have been discussions about the new facility serving as a collection point for all recyclable materials from the other counties, much the same way that the tire shredder operation receives tires from the other counties. That plan is still in the discussion stage.

Bobo said the new center is currently open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but those hours will be extended after renovations, including the construction of restrooms and other amenities, are completed.

In addition, it will be open every Saturday “for the convenience of the public,” Bobo said. “We’re still working to set that up.”

Marks said the new center will have a formal grand opening at a later date. For more information about the center, call 850-0235.