Ripley County Recycle/Reuse Center well used
Recycle - Reduce - Reuse. Making a difference

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

“Junk” has taken on a whole new meaning for Ripley County residents since the inception of the recycle center, and more recently opened, reuse center. Recycling definitely reduces trash output. Reusing items has become a popular trend for local residents, making a difference that is beginning to be seen.

Last January plans were in the making to expand the existing recycling facility located next to the Ripley County Highway Garage on US 421 near Osgood. Those plans would include a baler room for bundling cardboard, additional room for large appliances, such as freezers, refrigerators, and a reuse center.

The additions and upgrades were made, and in the spring the reuse center became a reality that has served an average of 35 families a day, according to Bill Warren, who operates the center.
Both facilities have given residents the opportunity to get rid of unwanted items and at the same time possibly obtain things they are in need of.

The recycling part of the center has grown since Warren has been employed there. They now take a trailer load of recyclable goods to the regional recycle center located in Muncie, on a monthly basis, where it used to be maybe four loads a year. “It really helps our whole county,” noted Warren, who said when people recycle, it keeps the ditch lines cleaner and isn’t filling the landfills at such an alarming rate. Businesses are welcome to bring newspapers and cardboard for recycling, where in the past it was for residents only.

Residents are encouraged to bring their paper products such as corrugated cardboard, newspapers, magazines; plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, scrap metal such as: washers, dryers, bicycles, water heaters, lawn mowers; car batteries, rechargeable and alkaline batteries to the center.

Some items have a recycling fee such as refrigerant appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers; electronics, and tires.

The reuse center provides an alternative way that residents can recycle. The “bring something in, take something out” motto is working well for residents here, according to Warren. He says the biggest need seems to be for baby clothes and items. Also in big demand are kitchen utensils, pots, pans, dishes etc.

On Tuesday of this week a lady concluded her shopping trip by saying, “There’s a lot of goodies here you know...clothes are so expensive.” She noted she would be back when she had the extra gas money to get there.

There is a bulletin board where people can post a message either saying they have a large item they would like to give away, or putting in their request for a need. This has proven to be a great tool, Warren noted.

Looks can be deceiving. Recently an appliance was being crushed to be taken for scrap. Someone thought it looked good on the outside and couldn’t figure out why it was being “destroyed.” Warren explained that not everything can be made to work again. Sometimes, it just has to be scraped, which is still not being destroyed.

Warren says people have responded wonderfully, some bringing in unwanted or unneeded items, others getting much needed things for their families. “We’ve had clothes brought in that are brand new, with the price tags still on them,” he noted.

The reuse center is in a climate controlled building and items are available to Ripley County residents at no cost. They just ask that recipients don’t take the items and sell them. You can find all sorts of household items such as appliances, tables, books, shelving, screens, toys, knick knacks, tools, fitness equipment and a variety of clothing at any given time.

Hours of operation for the reuse center are: Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.

The recycle/reuse facility works hand in hand. Warren notes that people who bring in things to be recycled will often times realize they can also get rid of things that aren’t quite ready to be recycled by donating them to the reuse center. The reuse part of the center makes people realize the importance of recycling and the cycle continues.

Plans are to enclose the area where people bring items to drop off for recycling, according to Warren. It was evident on Tuesday of this week that sort of enclosure is needed as the wind was whipping paper products around on the deck.

Hours of operation for the recycle portion of the facility are: Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. until noon.