TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Recycling options have been limited in Vigo County for the past year, but with Indiana State University’s recycling center officially re-opened, residents will have more available ways to repurpose materials.
After being closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I.S.U. will operate under new hours and will no longer accept glass or plastic materials.
Paul Reed, Manager of custodial and special services for the university, said this decision was made to accommodate finances and staffing.
“Primarily with glass there’s a direct expense, a pretty hefty expense. As far as plastic, it’s pretty labor intense to get it to transport so we’ve chosen not do that at this time,” Reed said. “We have a few positions we’re keeping open,”
Anyone wanting to recycle items like cardboard, magazines, phonebooks, and other items can place them in a specifically labeled bin provided by the school.
The re-opening of Indiana State’s Ninth Street facility comes as efforts to recycle are increasing in Vigo County.
Vigo County Solid Waste Management collected 100 tons of recyclables last year, according to Executive Director, Karrum Nasser.
In 2021, the center has reached that same amount of tonnage by the first quarter.
“We’ve added a second bin, we’ve increased our hours, we’ve increased our outreach so it is a challenge to educate people on what we do accept, what we don’t accept,” Nasser said.
Another challenge is the kind of material residents are placing in facility bins.
Nasser says they do don’t accept materials like mirrors, ceramics, and batteries. He adds while the facility does accept plastic, he asks the public to refrain from putting plastic bags and plastic wraps in bins.
“Just because it’s plastic doesn’t mean we can recycle it. It could contaminate our recycling process which would end up in us having to throw all of our product away. It’s very important people are mindful,” Nasser said.
Nasser added that the facility often finds whole boxes in it’s bins, causing there to be less room for other materials throughout operating hours.
“It’s an inconvenience for drivers who make the trip to the Northside just to see a bin filled when there’s room available,” Nasser states. “We ask people to look at purchasing habits and see what alternatives can be used for certain items,”
Reed says residents can do their part to help either facility by being cautious of what can be re-used versus being thrown out.
“Be mindful of the materials that can be recycled and try to lean towards those instead of ones not recyclable,” Reed said.
For more information on each recycling center’s operations, we have links below: