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New recycling drop-off facility to open Wednesday

Posted on February 5, 2019

By Tia Lyons
Staff Writer

The city’s new recycling drop-off center will open for business Wednesday at 401 Liberty and citizens are invited to bring their recyclable materials and yard and E-waste to the drive-through location.

Demetrio Levingston, manager of the El Dorado recycling program, said the facility at the intersection of Liberty and Cordell will offer a drive-through service, longer hours and more manpower.

Construction on the new 3,000-sqaure-foot, warehouse building has been ongoing for months, with target dates set and passed several times

Levingston said city workers began moving items from the now-former drop-off center behind Arby’s more than a week ago.

Robert Edmonds, director of public works, said that while some dirt work still needs to be done, driveways to be asphalted when the weather clears and a fence to be erected, the new facility is ready for use.

For the past few years, city officials have explored ways to address complaints of unsightliness that occurs when people would leave items — including items that are not accepted in the city’s recycling program, including furniture and garbage — after hours and on weekends at the old drop-off location.

The items routinely piled up between closing time on Saturday and opening time on Monday morning when additional city workers would be deployed to the site to help clean up weekend clutter.

Residents in the St. Louis neighborhood, in which the old center is located, also reported having to constantly clear their yards and city streets of litter and other small debris that would be carried by the wind from the drop-off center.

Additionally, city officials and members of Keep El Dorado Beautiful said that because of its high visibility, the area behind Arby’s needed to be spruced up since it is just feet away from West Avenue, the city’s main drag, and adjacent to commercial businesses.

City officials favored moving the facility to cityowned property, noting that the city had rented the old site for years and in January 2016, the monthly rental rate was raised from $250 to $500.

The new location is in the same general area and in a convenient, centralized spot, city officials and members of Keep El Dorado Beautiful have said.

The cost of the project is about $350,000, which includes land acquisition.

Much of the cost is being covered by a $250,000 grant from the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District.

Edmonds has said the city will kick in the remaining $100,000.

Being able to store and process recyclable materials inside the new building will help to keep the new site tidy, Edmonds has said.

Levingston said extended hours and additional manpower will also help with tidiness, noting that a second worker will be assigned to the new drop-off center.

“There will be two people there, whereas there was formerly one,” he said. “Somebody will be onsite between (8 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Somebody will be there all nine hours of the day.”

Levingston said residents will be able to enter the facility from Liberty Street, drive through and then exit onto Robinson.

Two roll-off dumpsters will be set up at the front of the facility for public use, he said.

Prohibited items for the roll-off dumpsters will be roofing materials, electronics, tires and yard waste (leaves, limbs and clippings).

“We will take those items, but you won’t be able to put them in the roll-off dumpsters,” Levingston said. “There will be designated areas onsite for those items — leaves, limbs, tires and TVs.”

“We ask the public to work with us in having their recyclable items separated and removing the lids from (plastic) bottles,” he continued.

Levingston said magazines and newspaper print will be processed at the new site, alongside plastics, which were also processed at the former site.

Referring to the drive-thru service, Levingston advised residents that the height clearance for the building is 9 feet.

Levingston and city solid waste manager Anthony Traylor said city trash-bag sales will eventually be moved to the new dropoff center.

“You can still buy them at City Hall for now. We’ll be letting you know when they move to the new center,” Traylor said.

Levingston said he has been handing out fliers to let residents know about the new recycling drop-off location and he hopes to spread the word even further by Wednesday.

“I think once the place is up and running, it will be a good asset to the city,” Traylor said.

For more information, call Levingston at 870-866-7219, Traylor at 870-866-7258 or the Department of Public Works at 870-863-4244.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at