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Cabell recycling program receives $50K state grant

December 30, 2018
Christina Rodes drops off recyclables on June 22 at the Cabell County Solid Waste Authority's Virginia Avenue recycling dropoff site in Huntington. The recycling program recently received $50,000 from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Rehabilitation and Environmental Action Plan initiative.

HUNTINGTON — West Virginia House Delegate Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, announced a grant benefiting the Cabell County Solid Waste Authority on Thursday.

Linville said he secured approximately $50,000 to benefit the Solid Waste Authority’s recycling program from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Rehabilitation and Environmental Action Plan initiative.

The initiative dedicates money to help citizens start litter cleanup programs and provides technical, financial and resource assistance in other cleanup efforts.

Linville announced the grant in honor of Cabell County Commissioner Kelli Sobonya, who was sworn in during a ceremony Thursday. Sobonya held Linville’s delegate seat for the past 16 years before running for the commission and winning in November.

The grant money will be in addition to a $100,000 commitment made to the recycling program from the commission this summer.

Before the county’s commitment, people who wanted to use the recycling program were charged $75 a year. Solid Waste Authority officials had previously sought to add a levy to the November ballot, which would have boosted the struggling program.

Thanks to the commissioners’ support, county residents can now recycle for $5, while non-county residents pay $51.

Mark Buchanan, director of the Cabell County Solid Waste Authority, said the state’s grant money could be used toward establishing a third drop-off recycling site.

Buchanan said capacity is full at the drop-off site in Barboursville and is nearing full capacity at the Virginia Street drop-off site in Huntington.

“At the Barboursville site, we have as many Pea Ridge residents there as we do Barboursville,” he said.

If the Solid Waste Authority wanted to develop a third dropoff site, it would need to be somewhere between Huntington and Barboursville, going no further than Ona. Officials have looked at a few sites, but they ended up not being viable, he said.

Buchanan also provided commissioners with an update on the recycling program during a meeting Thursday.

So far, the program is under budget and on track to reaching its fiscal year 2019 goals, he said.

Previously, about 600 households were being served at the Huntington site, which has now expanded to 1,296 households. The site has gone from nine bins to 15 bins, with room for five more. The Huntington drop-off site will likely reach full capacity by March, he said.

The Barboursville site now sees approximately 400 households and has increased by four bins, he said. It had previously served about half that number.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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