NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A significant change in how the City of Nacogdoches manages recycled materials is in the works.
Next Tuesday, the city council is expected to approve the purchase of a recycle bailer, so the recyclables can be sold instead of given away.
East Texas News got the details on how the totally unexpected opportunity presented itself.
Nacogdoches receives approximately 450 tons of cardboard, paper and plastic from citizen collection sites. The recyclables are trucked by city staff to Lufkin's recycling center, baled, and sold by Lufkin.
Nacogdoches Public Works Manager Cary Walker was seeing red.
"We're not gaining any revenue for it, so we're actually putting out more money than we're actually receiving," Walker said.
Walker wanted the city to have its own recycle baler.
Enter Katie Blevins, the Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful coordinator. Her hard work in developing a website and Facebook page got noticed by an anonymous donor.
"The donor found us through our website and contacted us to have a sit-down meeting and discuss options of donations and support," Blevins said.
Fifty-four thousand dollars to be exact, enough to match with city funds for the future startup of an in-house recycling program. If approved, the expected revenue stream will offset the rising cost of operating a recycling program.
"There's more buyers coming into this area as well, especially with cardboard prices and the price of these commodities - it's doubled over the last year," Walker said.
The return makes Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful Board Chair Ray Mitchum smile. After decades of work, KNB's recycling initiative is noticed in a beneficial way.
"The ball is starting to roll, and we're starting to get some momentum," Mitchum said. "Hopefully with this we'll start seeing expansion."
Recycling centers will still remain throughout Nacogdoches as a convenience to customers. The baler itself will located at the Nacogdoches Landfill and operated by the Public Works Department.