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City stands to lose recycling machine

Jim Givens empties a load of paper into the city paper recycling machine on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Allison Goodman)Buy Photo
Jim Givens empties a load of paper into the city paper recycling machine on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Allison Goodman)
A sign beside the city paper recycling machine suggest appropriate materials that can be disposed of in the machine. (Photo by Allison Goodman)Buy Photo
A sign beside the city paper recycling machine suggest appropriate materials that can be disposed of in the machine. (Photo by Allison Goodman)

Carlisle City alderwoman Anne Anderson is seeking residents to help with keeping the paper recycling machine in Carlisle.

According to Anderson, the city may lose the paper recycling machine if there is not an increase in paper recycling soon. She said although the terms from the beginning were that the machine would be removed if it does not produce enough loads, she did not foresee a problem with it. Despite her positive expectations, Anderson said the number of loads are steadily decreasing. Last September marked the first full year the city has had the machine, and five loads were picked up. She said as of Tuesday, with less than a week left before September, only three loads have been collected.

“If we are not going to use it, then they are going to take it somewhere it will be used,” Anderson said.

While the machine was down for a month in July, Anderson said part of the reason is because it is not being used enough. She said it became a low priority to fix when other more used machines were broken down. At this time, Anderson said the machine is only filled to capacity every three months on average.

“I know some people are using it,” Anderson said. “But it’s the people who are using it that could help. Everyone has paper.”

As a city alderwoman and chairwoman for sanitation and pollution, getting some form of recycling for Carlisle has been one of Anderson’s primary goals. She said she has researched other forms of recycling machines but they do not come without a price. She said she once found a used aluminum machine with a $10,000 price tag. Other than a small use of electricity to compact the materials and pouring the original foundation for the machine, Anderson said the paper compactor is used by the city free of charge. The city also receives $100 for each load collected.

“I’ve worked so hard to get it,” Anderson said. “I’d like to keep it, but that means people have to use it.”

Anderson said there is also discussion within the legislator that cities and towns may soon be required to offer a recycling alternative to residents in an effort to limit what it placed into landfills. She said it is more sensible for residents to use the paper compactor now than for them to potentially have to pay for recycling services through a trash collection company.

One of the options Anderson suggested in helping to keep the machine is to get the school and its students more involved. She said the Sheridan School District alone is able to produce one full load per month.

Some of the paper products that can be recycled include: newspaper, cardboard, magazines, books, shredded paper, cereal boxes, toilet and paper towel spools, wrapping paper, construction paper, phone books and greeting cards.

“Everything but toilet paper and tissues,” Anderson said. “Everything else can go in there.”

Cans, garbage, plastic, electronics, furniture and appliances may not be put into the compactor.

The paper recycling machine is located next to the mosquito control building at 119 East 3rd St.

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