Recycle, recycle, recycle

Albertville-Boaz Recycling Center Director Jeannie Courington sorts recyclable material at the center.

Albertville-Boaz Recycling Center is closing its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will continue accepting recyclable items if dropped off.

After the governor and Alabama Department of Public Health issued the most recent health orders, the center, located at 311 Sand Mountain Dr. in Albertville, made an effort to follow the guidelines.

"We are doing our best to do our part with this world of pandemic," said Jeannie Courington, executive director of the center. "Recycling operations are considered a job category that is identified as an essential service.  Therefore, we will continue to work every day at the best pace we can to meet the supply and demand." 

Courington said many people don't understand how important recycling is during this time when items are being taken off shelves faster than they can be replaced.

Recyclers are responsible for supplying 58% of the feedstock to tissue mills throughout the U.S., she said, which are responsible for producing toilet paper and tissues needed by citizens every day and are currently in critical supply.

In order for the center to meet the community's recycling needs, Courington said its methods would be changed up for the time being.

Doors will be closed out front, but staff members will still be working at the center. 

There will be bins for recyclers to drop off items.

Workers will not be coming out to cars to retrieve items for the time being. Hopefully, Courington said, this service will resume in days to come. 

Recyclers are encouraged to do their best to sort as much as possible. 

"We sort our items by human hands pulling out items that should not be in a recycle bin," Courington said. "Those items become garbage as it should have been to begin with. It is more important than ever to not put dirty items and personal items, such as toilet tissue, Kleenex, napkins or paper towels, in recycle. Make sure all items are rinsed and clean. We are not your garbage dump."

Trailers will be available to put empty cardboard boxes in. Courington said to remove all items from the cardboard. 

Do not leave paper in outside bins if there are chances of rain. "Wet paper just becomes trash," she said. 

According to recent studies, the coronavirus can live on cardboard for approximately 24 hours and can live up to three days on plastic. So, Courington said, it is vitally important to rinse all items. 

"And please, we ask you again do not make us your trash dump site," she said. "If items are dirty or moldy, just throw them away." 

Any questions can be directed to the center at 256-891-8298. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

For community service workers — If someone has been ordered to do community service, Courington said the center was still available for them to work so hours can be completed. 

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