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City needs new site for recycling center

Friday, February 2, 2007

The future of the Greencastle Yardwaste Recycling Center is a bit uncertain these days.

With Ivy Tech planning to construct a new campus on the same property, possibly as early as next year, recycling officials are in search of a new location.

Jane Collisi, director of the West Central Solid Waste District -- the agency that oversees recycling centers in Greencastle, Cloverdale and Roachdale -- said the district has its eyes on two possible locations.

The first is located at the Putnam County Highway Department, just outside the city limits on Sunset Drive, and the second is in front of the Humane Society of Putnam County, east of town on Ind. 240.

The current yardwaste site is located at the corner of Veteran's Memorial Highway and First Street, across from Greencastle Middle School.

Known as Rokicki Park, the site has been earmarked by the city for Ivy Tech as it looks to build a 42,000-square-foot education center beginning in late 2007 or early 2008. The completed building is scheduled to open in 2010.

Recycling officials hope to relocate the yardwaste site by the time it opens in April of next year.

At this week's meeting of the recycling district's board of directors, Collisi and others tried to emphasize the importance of finding a new location for the yardwaste site, but board members came away without a decision. Collisi said she hopes the board will make a decision soon.

The yardwaste site will open in its current location this spring. As always, residents of the district are permitted to drop off grass clippings, tree limbs, leaves and other yardwaste items at the site during specified hours.

Meanwhile, recycling officials are continuing to mull over the idea of building a new headquarters for the district. Currently they share space in the Putnam County Courthouse Annex on Liberty Street but would like a space of their own some day.

Recycling officials would like to construct their own building, complete with office and storage space, along with room to invite local school children to learn about recycling. Currently, the district's education director travels throughout the entire four-county area to visit some 65 different schools.

Collisi said this week that those trips would continue even if the new building is constructed, however, it would give schools an option for field trips.

Collisi also said she is having second thoughts about the property in front of the Humane Society for a future home of the recycling district.

The Putnam County Commissioners have shown a willingness to lease or give the land to the recycling district, but Collissi said the land may not suit the district's needs after all.

The recycling board did not make a decision at this week's meeting.

Finally, recycling officials want local businesses and industries to know that they need their help.

The district is seeking information concerning the items that businesses recycle, such as auto repair shops that recycle used motor oil and manufacturing companies that reuse materials leftover from the production process.

Collisi said the agency has not collected this type of information in the past, but hopes to start doing it.

"We're just trying to find out how much waste is generated and recycled," Collisi said. "We don't have any numbers."

There are several reasons the district wants to know this information, not the least of which is planning for the future.

Collisi said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requires the district to include the information in its 20-year plan. She said the information will help the district know what the community is already doing to recycling and areas where more needs to be done.

It will also help the district as it plans educational programs for the community and plans for potential new services.

"It kind of helps us form our goals," Collisi said.

The district is asking local businesses and industries to respond to a survey they are planning to mail out in the next several days.

For more information, contact the West Central Recycling District at 653-2150.

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