Recycling center needs new facility or faces shut-down

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH, Ky. - Time is running out for one of the only recycling facilities in Paducah and McCracken County to find a new place to set up, or it will shut down.

Paducah Water has allowed Greater Paducah Sustainability Project (GPSP), a 501(c)(3), use of the
facility on North 8th Street for several years, but needs the property returned for its own purposes. 

President of GPSP, Ralph Young told city commissioners they've been searching for another place to go, but haven't been able to find one they can afford. Over the past three years, he said GPSP reviewed 26 properties. 

Young is confident the support is here.

"A vast majority of people favor some type of recycling in the city," he said. "It's just the right thing to do."

A survey the city conducted supports his theory. Regarding recycling, 57% of the respondents said that recycling opportunities are either essential or very important to their quality of life.  At least 75% of the respondents were interested or somewhat interested in curbside recycling. 

City Manager Jeff Pederson led the elected officials through general levels of participation for a city regarding recycling including collection scenarios.  Pederson said there isn’t a uniform model for cities to follow to enter into recycling.

Commissioner Carol Gault said, “I think we all support it.  It’s figuring out mechanics and where to go from here.”  Pederson also explained that the city is diverting a significant portion from the waste stream through the recycling process at the compost facility.

Young said GPSP is interested in the Crisp Building on Irvin Cobb Drive; however, UK and MSU have not committed the facility to recycling. 

"We would have some delay in service between that time, but that would be a good alternative we think," he said.

Young added that without another building and land, the operation will cease accepting recyclables in November so that it can begin disassembling equipment to return the property to Paducah Water by December 31. 

The city has helped in the search for suitable property.  The city manager and GPSP-Recycle Now will meet soon to continue the search for a parcel that would be a good fit for the recycling operations to continue and possibly expand. 

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