Material Recovery Program
The Coffee County Landfill has collected various metals and white goods at a separate location since 1998. The program originally consisted of instructing customers to place metals next to a container, which would then be shipped to a metal buyer for final disposition. This process generated very little clean metal but did serve as a basis for the recovery of recyclable material.
With increases in the price being paid for recyclable material, a need to more closely monitor the C&D cell, a decrease in available space for C&D disposal, and rumors of changes in the solid waste regulations, the Coffee County Commission decided to expand its recovery efforts in 2005. A grant of $10,000 to start an active recovery program was used to purchase a trailer for recycling. Also, through coordination with a local recyclables broker, a baler was acquired at no charge to the county. The program began small, focusing primarily on cardboard and metals, but later expanded to include plastics and mixed paper. Currently, the Material Recovery Program employs one full-time supervisor and seven paid inmates from the Coffee County Jail.
Recovering approximately 750,000 pounds of recyclable material annually is only one of the benefits of operating a program such as this. Other benefits include conserving landfill space, providing a mechanism for the inspection of waste in the C&D cell, and the gainful employment of inmates from the jail. Also, with the passage of the Solid Waste and Recyclables Recovery Act in 2008, the program provides a basis for expansions, as may be required in the near future by regulation, and a mechanism for acquiring grants set aside by the Act.