Dothan, Alabama, has recently revitalized its recycling program by restructuring operations and reopening the WestgateRecycling Center and a drop-off location at the city's landfill. Officials celebrated a ribbon cutting and grand opening of the facilities April 22 for Earth Day.
The city temporarily ceased operations at the recycling drop-off centers earlier this year for a variety of reasons, including issues with illegal dumping and high recycling costs. Dothan Public Works Department reports the city was paying $125 per ton, or $150,000 more per year for single-stream recycling, which caused city officials to temporarily close the recycling centers for a three-month period.
With the start of operations at Repower South, Montgomery, Alabama, in early 2019, Dothan saw an opportunity to partner with the new mixed waste processing recycling and recovery facility. City officials have agreed on a 90-day contract with RePower South to accept the city’s recyclables at $40 per ton. The company and city will revisit the contract after the three-month period.
Before reopening the recycling centers, the city also made improvements to operations. The city installed camera monitoring at the sites to combat illegal dumping, created educational materials for residents, including what items are acceptable at the centers, and staffed the sites with full-time employees to ensure residents are recycling and disposing of items properly.