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New recycling center good environment, economy

Republic Services Recycling Center holds grand opening

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The way that people in Jacksonville recycle and throw away their trash is about to change.

It's all thanks to the grand opening of Republic Services, a brand new recycling facility located on Imeson Road in Northwest Jacksonville.

Republic Services held an official ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday where they opened the facility and offered tours to media to better inform the public about the new facility.

The new center is not only helping the environment, but also the local economy by creating jobs and providing the city with more money for everything people put in their bins.

Nationwide recycling accounts for about 1 million manufacturing jobs and more than $100 billion in revenue.

In Jacksonville, the new Republic Services Recycling Center is having an affect of its own. It opened for employees in April and it's led to new jobs in this tough economy.

"We're at 50 new jobs here, which is important especially on this side of town," said Andrew King, of Republic Services. "They're primarily going to be in sorting as well as in other areas of the facility. But 50 new jobs is a great story to tell."

The center is a source of revenue for the city. About two years ago the city got $5 for every ton of recycled waste. Then with this new plant opening, there were huge financial changes. The city's take today is now $41 for every ton.

"The city gets paid $41 a ton for residential recycling material that they bring into this facility," King said. "All that material comes here. They also avoid a $12 disposal fee at the landfill. So you're talking about a $53 a ton impact. On 800,000 tons a year, you can see where there would be a big impact financially. If we could just get even half of that recycled, you're talking almost $20 million."

King said the city could make even more money in the future. Recyclables like plastic, cardboard and aluminum are commodities and are traded on the commodities market. If the price of commodities goes up, the amount the city makes goes up as well.

"The more we recycle, the more we can get out here," King said. "This is a 70,000 square foot facility. We'd love to expand it even more in the future. It's built to be expanded. All the recycled material will come here for the next 10 years. The more we can do, the more we can promote and the more jobs we can create."