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Mills County, resource center teaming up on recycling

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

Mills County is getting back into the recycling business.

The county, which ended its recycling affiliation with the city of Glenwood when the city shut down its site last October, has entered into a new deal, this time with the Glenwood Resource Center to provide paper recycling at Glenwood Plaza.

Mills County Supervisor Ron Kohn approached the GRC earlier this year with a proposal to help the county with its recycling needs. Kohn’s agreement calls for the county to provide a recycling shed to collect paper. The GRC would then maintain and service the bin daily. The GRC’s recycling arm serves more than 130 customers in dozens of southwest Iowa cities and towns in five counties.

“When the recycling center closed here (in Glenwood) we started looking around to see if we could do some paper recycling,” Kohn said. “We talked to the resource center and it worked out. It was then just a matter of finding a location.”    

Kohn approached the GRC first then reached out to Century Property Management, who manages the Glenwood Plaza on Locust Street, about possibly placing a recycling container on that site. Century officials approved the request earlier this month.

“They agreed to let us put a recycling center there and the GRC agreed to provide the recycling,” Kohn said. “It was a win-win deal as far as we were concerned.”

Kohn said the paper recycling shed will be paid for by the county with a mid-July date targeted for opening. The shed itself will be approximately 8 feet by 10 feet with window allowing paper to be dumped inside. The unmanned shed will be open 24 hours and located on the south edge of the parking lot.

Other than the cost of the construction of the shed and a letter of liability, the county will pay no additional costs for the service.

“But to a large degree it will depend on how well people respect that it’s just a paper recycling center and not a place to dump their trash.”

The GRC offered a similar shed system on the former city recycling site at the city park on Tyson Street prior to that site’s shuttering last year. The city site was plagued by illegal dumping, foul odors and poor maintenance. Kohn hopes to prevent a similar problem at the new site that is better lit and more public.

If all goes well, Kohn said, the shed will stay and the public can recycle their paper.

“It’s all going to depend on the people using the facility,” Kohn said. “If people work with us as far as keeping the facility clean, then we’ll be able to do it. If it’s not kept clean, we’ll probably have to remove it.”
Kohn said there are currently no plans for  offering additional recycling services.