Last week, the Barton County Commission granted $15,000 Sunflower Diversified Services to help bolster its recycling efforts. The county wisely includes $15,000 under Solid Waste Budget for recycling that its awards locally for this important function.
With the money, Sunflower hopes to purchase a truck-bed lift, trailers, carts for recyclable materials and advertising. It also plans on matching the money with $2,400 of its own.
Last year, Sunflower was awarded $12,000. Its goal was to improve their collection system and expand services, which it has done.
In the past year, Sunflower has spent $21,000 upgrading its recycling program and the county grant was a big part of that. Sunflower purchased another truck to help with picking up recyclable materials from businesses, and it also expanded services to Larned and Pawnee County, adding Larned State Hospital, Larned schools and other businesses as customers.
It also acquired its glass grinder and pulverizer. This was important, because Sunflower can’t find a vendor to purchase whole glass.
The grinder is keeping glass out of the landfill, over 28 tons of it.
Half of that material is being set aside for use by the Barton County Road and Bridge Department for use as a sand replacement.
The rest will be used by Sunflower for driveways and parking lots.
“It’s going well,” Sunflower Executive Director Jim Johnson said of the crushing efforts. “We’re recycling more but not as much as we could be.”
That is too bad.
That’s part of the reason for the new carts and advertising, he said. They hope to have receptacles at more events and promote the idea of recycling more in hopes of increasing the volume.
This partnership between Sunflower and the county is an example of two parties working to make our communities cleaner and greener. It keeps trash out of the landfill and provides a by-product that fulfills a need.
It is hoped that the recycling options in Barton County will only expand with time. Thanks to this type of arrangement, the future holds promise.
However, it takes more than just someone to collect the recycling. All of us must do our parts.
As Johnson said, they can handle more glass. They can also handle more recyclables of other kinds as well.
Reduce and reuse for all of our sakes.