NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -The City of Nacogdoches and Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful (KNB) demonstrated their latest piece of equipment.
It’s a cardboard baler named “Cram-a-lot," which was purchased through an anonymous grant for the recycling center.
The long-awaited cardboard baler for Nacogdoches streamlines the process of selling the commodity of recycled packaging. That helps pay for the recycle program. Unfortunately, the timing falls when foreign markets are no longer buying tons and tons of American recyclables.
“I think prices are really low because China back in, you know, the beginning of ’18 quit accepting a lot of our cardboard here in the U.S. which made our prices fall," said Cary Walker, public works director. "Right now it’s 30 to 40 dollars a bale or ton right now. When it’s good, it’s over $100 dollars a ton.”
However, it will take more than a market slump to discourage city leaders and Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful members from promoting recycling.
“The main goal we have is to make this self-sustaining money wise," said R.M. Blake, board president of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful. "We survive on donations, but anytime we can have something that produces income, that can pay for itself at least, that’s a huge win for us.”
The bigger win was an anonymous donor impressed by the KNB website created by former executive director Katie Blevins. The person donated a substantial sum toward the purchase of the $120,000 investment.
“We didn’t know what kind of person this was, if it was somebody trying to sell us something or if it was an angel donor, and it turned out to be an angel donor," Blevins added.
For those residents who generate 200 tons of recycled cardboard a year in Nacogdoches, the recycling practice will continue. At the same time, the rising cost to get rid of recyclables isn’t expected to go away anytime soon.
The 1,800-lb. bales are stored until enough are collected for a broker to haul them away on a semi-truck. The bales are currently sold to a recycling plant in Louisiana.