STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Llano Recycling Opportunities is shutting down its trailer service as of Friday, Dec. 14, because the volume of items the center gets exceeds its small staff’s abilities at this point.
Jerry Land, who helps oversee the facility, said the decision was difficult.
“We don’t have enough workers to keep up with the demand,” he said. “You never get caught up with the recycling volume. It’s overwhelming.”
The staff travels to different parts of Llano County to pick up items from recycling bins. When the center, which provides limited jobs and training for special-needs adults, opened 22 years ago, it had a staff of 17 people. Currently, the center averages two to nine workers daily.
Llano County Special Opportunity School, along with Hill Country MHDD Centers, helped establish Llano Recycling Opportunities and continues to assist with daily operations management.
Land, who is also on the Llano County Special Opportunity School board, said another problem the center faces is 35 percent of what people drop off or put in the recycling bins is trash and not recyclable. Recently, a Llano Recycling Opportunities worker found parts of a deer, food waste, and a host of other non-recyclable items in a bag that someone had tossed into one of the facility’s dumpsters.
To protect the equipment, workers and volunteers go through the collected items to separate recycling from trash. That takes time and pulls workers away from recycling efforts.
The facility, located at 1209 N. Bessemer Ave. in Llano, accepts aluminum soda and beer cans; aluminum foil; pet food cans; cans that contained meat such as ham, tuna, and chicken; vegetable cans; detergent bottles; soda and water bottles; milk and water jugs; phone books; magazines and soft coloring books; and cardboard.
More information on what the facility accepts can be found at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, 100 Train Station Drive in Llano.
Land noted the small facility’s three machines are constantly operating. Other cities have recycling centers three times the size of the one in Llano that are able to accept other items.
“We ask that everyone bring only the recyclables we can accept,” Land said. “Please help us.”
Call (325) 248-8031 for more information.