People confused after Huntsville recycling facility's sudden closure

The city is now using the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama for service.

Posted: Jul 29, 2019 2:37 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2019 9:07 PM

A popular recycling facility has closed nearly a week before it was supposed to. That has some people upset and confused.

Republic Services' contract with the City of Huntsville ends this week. At their facility on A Cleaner Way, signs are posted stating the facility will close August 1st. Some people said it's been closed since Friday.

Right now, it's unclear if this location will stay open. For now, you can't drop off recycling there, and when people drive up, they'll find everything roped off and no place to dump items.

One woman, Mary, tells WAAY 31 when she pulled into the recycling center Monday morning, she was disappointed in what she saw. She says she first came there on Saturday and thought maybe they were revamping the bins. She saw the sign that said it would close on August 1, but saw trash on the ground.

"I've got stacks and stacks of stuff at my house to bring over here and now I don't have a place to take it," Mary said. "Landfills can't take care of it, so what are people supposed to do?"

The Solid Waste Disposal Authroity ended its contract with Republic Services last year. The service was supposed to run through July 31st from an extension, but it stopped allowing drop-off recycling almost a week early.

The city is now using the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama, or RANA, for service. In June, RANA announced it was expanding service to some 20,000 residents in the county who previously didn't qualify. It replaced the small recycling bins with 95-gallon rolling carts.

Mary said the A Cleaner Way recycling location was popular because you could drop off a lot of recyclables like glass and plastics along with paper and cardboard.

"People coming in here trying to keep things cleaned up around the bins and there'd be a line of cars coming in here emptying out their vehicles," she said.

The city's Solid Waste Disposal Authority updated its website on Monday, stating new recycling locations are in Owens Cross Roads, New Hope and New Market. The website indicates the A Cleaner Way facility will now only be used for hazardous materials like motor oil and batteries. 

The Solid Waste Disposal Authority told WAAY 31 for now, they don't know of a place to recycle glass and the drop-off locations are only open through July 31st.

"I can't drive all over the creation to find a place for this, this, and this," Mary said. "It just doesn't work that way."

We've reached out to Republic Services for a comment on why the facility closed early. We're waiting to hear back.

The new company starts its service with the city on Thursday. If you haven't received your recycling rolling cart yet, that means you likely didn't sign up for new service with RANA. You can do that here.

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