Wednesday, October 16, 2013 —
BY BRIAN GRAVES
Albemarle Solid Waste Facility and Recycling Center Superintendent Darren Preslar wants the public to know the term “landfill” does not fit around all the center does for the county’s citizens.
And now, they have a way to help Stanly County citizens with their gardens and other yard projects.
“A lot of people just consider us the dump,” Preslar said. “The people who work here don’t consider it that. There’s a lot of work that goes into this.”
Preslar is on the steering committee of Leadership Stanly and has the opportunity to frequently bring civic leaders as well as school students to the facility and give them an overview of just how much more varied the facility’s duties are than the common landfill stereotype.
The center does take solid waste and either disposes of it in an environmentally friendly way or recycles the product and sells it to help finance the center’s operations.
“I think people don’t realize we operate without any tax dollars,” Preslar said. “Our funding comes strictly from our usage fees and what we can sell in recycling.”
He explained when people buy tires that have a “disposal tax,” that money only pays for the center to contract with a tire recycler per ton to collect the tires.
The facility has began a relationship with ERI in Badin to recycle electronics.
“Because they are local, the logistics worked out perfectly,” Preslar said. “As long as we meet the weight requirements, they bring a truck and pick it up.”
He said there are still people who question why they are required to pay $5 to dispose of their waste at the facility.
“It goes back to the fact that although we are owned and operated by the city, we are a self-sufficient business,” Preslar said.
The center is now providing another service by selling wood mulch and leaf mulch compost.
The products have built up in quantity mainly due to the processing of the debris from last summer’s major storm.
But, it’s not just the debris that have given the excess product to develop the compost.
The City of Albemarle curbside collects an average of leaves Average of 3,100 tons accepted per year which ar processed into Leaf Mulch Compost.
Land cleaning debris arrive on the average of Average of 1,466 tons per year and are processed into (Single Grind) Wood Mulch.
Due to June 2013 storm, approximately 3,900 tons were accepted and processed into (Double Grind) Wood Mulch.
Preslar said area facilities were researched before deciding what the charges would be for the mulch.
“I think we are actually lower than most,” Preslar said.
Single Grind Wood Mulch is available for $25 a ton, Double Grind Wood Mulch sells for $30 a ton and Leaf Mulch compost is $27 per ton.
“All the revenue made goes right back into the operations of this facility,” Preslar said. “It takes manhours and machinery to provide this service and we want to maintain the best of quality.”
He said should the sales go well, the facility might be able to purchase the equipment that would allow them to process the mulch themselves.
“Although we are run by the city of Albemarle, we are here to serve all the residents of Stanly County,” Preslar said. “We are able to provide a product that’s good for the environment and useful to the public and businesses. I doing that, we can produce the revenue needed to maintain this program.”
“At one time, the landfill was just the dump. Now, we do so much more and look to do even more in the future,” he said.
To submit story ideas, contact Brian Graves at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email@example.com.