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Grand opening for Sunflower Recycling’s new site set for July 31
Willie Ayers, left, and Randy Greathouse post signage on the new Sunflower Recycling Center drop-off site. The grand opening is set for Saturday, July 31.

The public is invited to the grand opening of the new Sunflower Recycling Center drop-off site where food, prizes and discounted paper shredding are on the agenda.

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31st at 5605 10th, just west of the 5523 10th site. Sunflower Diversified Services, which serves children and adults with special needs, operates the center.

“We are eager for central Kansans to join us for all the activities and use our new drop-off site,” said Shawn Bates, Sunflower director of production. “A lot of hard work went into this project to make it safe and ready for clients and recyclers. We are excited for everyone to see the results.”

Hot dogs and bottled water are on the menu as long as supplies last. Starting at 10 a.m., drawings for prizes are scheduled for every half hour until 1:30 p.m. Prizes include t-shirts, a half-pound of Pat’s beef jerky and one-of-a-kind art pieces that clients created at Sunflower’s Beautiful Minds Art Studio.

The individual who brings in the most pounds of newspapers for recycling on grand-opening day will win a Napoleon TravelQ portable grill, courtesy of Eldridge Fencing. The winner, who does not have to be present, will be announced at 2 p.m.

To top it off, Bates said, paper shredding will be discounted to 25 cents a pound instead of 50 cents.

“We wanted to have something of interest to everyone,” Bates said. “A good turnout will mean a lot to clients and staff.”

The move to the new location is a direct result of the huge growth in recycled materials, Bates noted. In 2019, 1.8 million pounds of recyclables were collected. Last year, it was 4 million pounds.

“I am grateful to Great Bend and surrounding communities for their efforts,” Bates commented. “Our recycling operation provides jobs for many clients who gain confidence and more independence by earning their own paychecks.

“In addition, we are keeping waste out of the landfill, which saves the taxpayer money,” he continued. “Recycling also saves energy and has many positive influences on our environment.”

The official switch from the old to the new site was set for noon Monday, July 26.

The last three south bay doors are for drop-offs; other areas in the building are for clients to perform light manufacturing/assembly tasks.

The new drop-off site is more user friendly because of new outside and inside signage that directs recyclers to the proper place. Two vertical balers were added for corrugated and non-corrugated cardboard.

“The people we serve and staff members are extremely happy about this move,” Bates said. “There has been a lot of construction and other work during the last several months. The maintenance staff deserves a lot of credit for their many hours of hard work.

“Willie Ayers, Randy Greathouse and John Lichter really pulled together to make this vision a reality.”

Drop-off hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.