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Henry County Recycling Center marks fruitful year

Clayton landfill helps with bulk items

Greg Heyward, an attendant at the Henry County Recycling Center, in McDonough, dumps bags of yard debris into a bin at the facility. Operations at the center were taken over by the county’s Public Works Department, in January of 2011.

Greg Heyward, an attendant at the Henry County Recycling Center, in McDonough, dumps bags of yard debris into a bin at the facility. Operations at the center were taken over by the county’s Public Works Department, in January of 2011.

Henry County leaders are pointing to recent changes at a government facility, as factors which have helped the Public Works Department successfully collect recycled materials.

Staffers at the Henry County Recycling Center have achieved this, in part, by increasing efficiency at the center, said county spokesperson, Julie Hoover-Ernst.

“The biggest change that the county made was eliminating trash collection [at the recycling center],” she said. “That enabled public works to focus on what it is meant to be, which is a recycling center. They reorganized it, cleaned it up, and made it easier for citizens to pull in, drop off their recyclables, and be on their way. The more recyclables we get, the more we can turn this into a profitable operation, as well.”

Other adjustments the county has made to the center include expanding its hours of operation, and adding clearly marked bins and sturdy stairs, to facilitate easier and faster drop-offs.

The Henry County Public Works Department, in January, took over the management of the recycling center, at 65 West Asbury Road, in McDonough. Since that time, the facility has collected more than 295,000 pounds of cardboard, 353,140 pounds of scrap metal, and nearly 205,000 pounds of newspaper and magazines. The county also has recycled 3,464 gallons of motor oil and 1,102 gallons of residential cooking oil at the facility.

The recycling center also accepts glass, plastics, paper, aluminum, books and other items, according to Hoover-Ernst.

Yard debris is also collected at the facility as a courtesy to area residents, according to Alvin Price, an operator at the center.

Beth Tudor, the executive assistant for the Henry County Public Works Division, said although the recycling center accepts many types of items, there are others which must be taken elsewhere.

“We still receive calls regarding other bulk items,” said Tudor. “We do not accept paint, carpet, mattresses, construction materials, or any items that can’t be recycled.”

Tudor said she refers residents with prohibited items to the Clayton County landfill.

The Henry recycling center also does not accept alkaline batteries, or compact fluorescent bulbs. Hoover-Ernst said Batteries Plus in the Eagle’s Landing area recycles batteries for free, and compact fluorescent bulbs may be recycled at Lowe’s or Home Depot locations.

Henry County Commission Chairman Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis said she has been pleased by the operation of the center this year, and praised Henry’s Public Works Director Terry McMickle, and his staff.

“I have not gotten a single complaint, but have received numerous positive comments,” said Mathis. “My family uses the center regularly. It is always clean and well-organized. The workers are helpful in unloading the vehicles, and getting the recyclables into the appropriate bins.”

During the holiday season, residents can bring their Christmas trees to the center to be recycled. Free mulch will be available later.

The recycling center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m., to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, from 8 a.m., to 2 p.m. For more information, call (770) 288-6410, or visit www.henrycounty-ga.org.