Trevor Renshaw, manager of True Value Hardware in Willard, weighs a bin of aluminum cans at his store on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Jansen/News-Leader)
Why send plastic, aluminum and cardboard to be buried in a landfill when you can get paid to turn it in?
That’s the theory behind a new recycling operation that will open soon at the Willard True Value store. A California-based recycling company is using the True Value store as its hub for Willard-area residents to bring in recyclable plastic, aluminum and cardboard for instant cash payouts.
“We’re focused on making recycling convenient,” said Clark Dinnison, spokesman for Santa Ana, California-based Replenysh. “It keeps this material out of landfills and incentivizes the idea of recycling in the community.”
Replenysh already has one location in Granby, southeast of Joplin, that’s up and running. The company plans to soon add pay stations in Sarcoxie and Collins.
Dinnison said the company has commercial buyers for the plastic, aluminum and cardboard already lined up.
Replenysh will pay 45 cents per pound for aluminum, 8 cents per pound for PET #1 plastic (the emblem is usually printed on the bottom of the container) and 2 cents per pound for cardboard. The recyclables are weighed at the True Value store and people will be paid on the spot.
Dinnison said PET #1 is the only kind of plastic Replenysh currently accepts. It’s typically clear plastic used to make water and food bottles and to hold household cleaners.
Dinnison said he expects there will be a bit of a learning curve as customers get used to bringing in the right kind of plastic. No tin cans are accepted, only aluminum, which has bigger after-sale market potential.
“This seems like a really great way to do it,” said Isaac Cooper, store manager at True Value. “If anything, I think it’s going to encourage people to recycle more.”
Cooper said the pay station should be up and running within a week or two, after the store works out the details of weighing and paying for recyclables. The store is located at 658 Hunt Road in Willard.
Different in Springfield
In Springfield, much of the city’s recyclable material ends up in big steel bins at the three free recycling centers the city operates. Residents donate their glass, plastic, tin, aluminum, steel, mixed paper and cardboard.
The city contracts with a variety of companies that use the recycled material to make products. Glass, for example, is turned into pink fiberglass insulation.
Tin, steel and aluminum are sent to Commercial Metals in Springfield, then sold to companies that turn it into new products. Recycled plastics are sent to New American Recycling in Springfield. It’s eventually turned into carpet, clothing, composite decking and other products, according to the city.
Mixed paper is recycled on-site into animal bedding and pet litter products, while cardboard goes to New American Recycling, where it’s eventually turned into new cardboard boxes and packaging.
The huge volume of recycled material people drop off at the recycling centers — an average of 3,939 tons per year over the past five years — generated an average of $52,272 a year in revenue for the city from sales to those recycling businesses.
That money is used to help fund the city’s landfill, recycling centers, household chemical drop-off program and the yard waste recycling program, according to Erick Roberts, city superintendent of solid waste.
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