After shuttering for nearly three months due to coronavirus concerns, the Washington County Recycling Center will reopen June 13. However, drop offs will be different, said Ann Hansen, secretary for the Washington County Recycling Association.
“This is unchartered territory and the process — at least for the foreseeable future — will be a bit different and a work in progress,” Hansen said. “We're hoping everyone will be understanding and comply with the new procedures.”
Hours will be 8 a.m. to noon. In an effort to reduce the anticipated influx of vehicles, the center is asking those whose last name begins with A-L to drop off recyclables June 13 and those with M-Z to drop off June 20.
“The lines will be long and moving slowly,” Hansen said, adding that drivers who have not turned onto Third Street by 11:30 a.m. should come another day as the center will close at noon.
Other restrictions for the reopening include:
• Only three vehicles in the building at one time.
• Drivers unload their own vehicles as they are able.
• Drivers are asked to wear masks.
• Recyclables must be pre-sorted by category in individual boxes or bags, including No. 1 and No. 2 plastics; aluminum cans; tin cans; newspaper, magazines and chipboard; corrugated cardboard; office paper and mail.
“I can't stress enough the importance of pre-sorting materials into separate bags or boxes,” Hansen said. “This will already be a much slower process and with three months of stored recyclables, it'll take some time to catch up.”
Hansen said they expect to have about 10 volunteers working in the center. Volunteers will wear gloves and masks. All of the volunteers are age 50 and older. All of the doors in the building will also be open to maximize airflow in the building.
“As you can imagine, the mindsets about the virus are varied, but the health and safety of all volunteers and donors is our paramount concern,” she said.