The Prowers County Commissioners received an operational update from Reva Phillips of Southeast and East Central Recycling, a non-profit group, based in Pritchett and serving this corner of the state, including Burlington, Walsenburg, Manzanola and into Goodland, KS. Prowers County is one of 40 municipalities and entities served by Southeast and East Central Recycling and helps fund the operation with an annual $4,000 donation. Phillips said her expenses are offset by charging all municipalities 17 cents per capita per month, or about $2 per person per year.
The major collection site for all recyclable refuse is in Las Animas, where the organization employs suitable prison workers from Bent County Corrections, contracted through Bent County. The prisoners finish sorting the recycled materials for bailing and eventual resale. Phillips admitted there has been some turnover which is being administered, but she told the commissioners she has little control when the state decides to move prisoners from one prison to another in the state, and her board has no control over who is hired to work by the Department of Corrections. Phillips said Bent County Commissioner Bill Long has been able to intercede in the operations behalf, and work has gone smoothly for the past six months. Commissioner Henry Schnabel said in these tight economic times, the county has to be able to see the value in the programs it helps fund. Phillips said her company is looking at some equipment upgrades in a new collection trailer, as well as considering the purchase of the building in Las Animas her company has leased for the past six years. A grant is also being sought to purchase additional recycling containers should other entities wish to make use of their services. There would be no charge for using the containers, but a new municipality would be charged the flat 17 cent rate as other members. The county donates $4,000 annually, but is not financially able to cover the 17 cents per head cost for the entire population.
By Russ Baldwin
Filed under: Business, Commissioners, community, County, Economy, Employment, Featured, Law Enforcement, News · Tags: Bent County, Bent County Corrections, CCA Prisons, Prowers County, recycling, Reva Phillips, Southeast & East Central Recycling