Recycle your trash; it’s the right thing to do

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
   Over the course of the last year certain community members decided they would try to bring viable recycling to Pondera County.  After a few meetings, these individuals created the Pondera County Recycling Coalition (PCRC).
   The first event sponsored by this non-profit group was the Whoop-Up Aluminum Drive.  For a first time event the drive was a success.  PCRC collected 600 pounds of aluminum and got the notion of recycling back in the minds of Pondera County citizens.
   Since that first event PCRC has been working on taking the next step in bringing a permanent recycling structure to the area.
   Last Tuesday that next step was taken.  PCRC sponsored a recycling roundtable for area residents interested in recycling as either a business or as a hobby.  The turnout was phenomenal.  Over 25 people showed up to ask questions and pool their ideas on recycling.
   Pryor to the roundtable the coalition met and decided to hold another aluminum drive during the Conrad Centennial.  There will be more on the aluminum drive in The Independent-Observer as the event nears.
   After introductions by Mayor John Shevlin, Dusti Johnson from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) gave a presentation on the recycling market and gave examples of other likeminded communities who have achieved the PCRC’s end goal of making recycling a permanent fixture in Pondera County.
   In the first part of her presentation, Johnson gave some interesting facts about the recycling market.  
   The recycling market like any other commodity is closely tied to the present economic condition.  Demand for recyclables tracks closely with the markets for new products.  As with most other commodities recycling has a cyclical price swing due to supply and demand.  Once demand from China dried up, the prices fell to their present state.
   On the home front, since spending has been scaled back due to the recession, recyclables were in less demand in the U.S. as well.
   As it stands now the market for most recyclables is flat.  For ferrous metals the demand is low, but the price is inching higher.  For aluminum there is a slow rise in demand, yet the price has remained flat.  Paper is seasonally up, and the price continues to be export led.  The market for plastic is sufficient and the price is rising.