[Editor's note: This is the second to two stories focusing on the city of Kokomo's upcoming curbside recycling program and the state of recycling within the city and Indiana. The first part detailed how a piece of recycled material is made into a new product and the cost to the city of launching the new program. Read it online at: http://bit.ly/1ejOpkS]
The operations Kokomo Recycle President J.D. Mohr and his employees have worked hard to build up could nearly double, both in workforce and productivity, in a few short months.
As it stands, Mohr and Kokomo Recycle handle the sorting of recycled materials from Kokomo, as well as Cass and Miami counties, along with neighboring cities like Alexandria and Hartford City.
It is Mohr’s desire to expand the operation to a regional recycling hub, he said, which could add 16 employees to his business at 1701 N. Market St. Kokomo Recycle also has a number of private businesses that use its services and generate much of the company’s paper materials.
Nearly $2.5 million in equipment upgrades and an addition $150,000 in building upgrades at Kokomo Recycling will be made possible through the city’s curbside recycling program, which kicks off in April, allowing residents to put their recyclable materials out alongside their trash every other week.
It’s all part of the expanding industry of recycling, which has the potential for continued growth as cities face increased landfill tipping fees.
“That’s what made this possible was the city committing material to the facility,” Mohr said, glancing at the new, state-of-the-art conveyor system that will separate different types of recyclable materials. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to do it. We have the county’s volume and other haulers, like Cass and Miami counties, that bring it here. Once we get all of that locked in, it justifies the expense of putting a system like this in.”