The Fort Stockton Recycling Center is located at 604 N. Valentine St. and offers the community a convenient 24-hour drop-off site for recyclable materials. The Recycling Center recently made facility improvements and moved the recycling portals to the Valentine St. side of the building.
"The reason we have Valentine blocked off right now is because we are expanding our public works area. We are in the process of installing some electric entrances for our public works department. The area where we previously had the drop-off windows was getting very congested. We've had many situations where oncoming traffic would not slow down for our employees, so these changes will make it safer for everyone," said public works director Aaron Ramos.
Ramos stated that the Recycling Center is on the verge of installing some brand new lighting and surveillance cameras for the new drop-off location.
"With the surveillance cameras and lighting, we will be able catch people who are abusing these drop-off windows by dumping in things that do not belong. We no longer accept TVs, computers, microwaves, or anything other electronics,” said Joe "Big Dog" Ruiz, sanitation/recycling supervisor.
The new and improved drop-off site is equipped with signs that detail what the Recycling Center accepts and does not accept. The Recycling Center permits the public to drop off glass, shredded paper, newspaper, magazines, plastic, aluminum cans, cardboard, paper sacks and other paper. They forbid items such as Styrofoam, non-aluminum cans, lumber, ceramic, tires, batteries, paint, appliances, metal, electronics, fluorescent bulbs, oil and household trash.
“The more we recycle, the less trash we have in our dumpsters. We get a lot of sanitation complaints about overflowing dumpsters, when half of the stuff in these dumpsters can be brought here to be recycled. This recycling program is to better our community, so come visit Big Dog at the Recycling Center," said Ruiz.
One of the biggest contributions of the recycling program is the diverting of materials from the city’s landfill. Replacing that landfill, once it reaches the current site’s capacity, is a long and costly project.
"The more we recycle the more life we give to the landfill. We're in the engineering process of finding a new landfill, and our current landfill has maybe three years of life left. The entire process of building a new landfill site takes years on its own. Recycling helps our landfill. We're developing a new glass crusher project and working on a lot of different upgrades here at the Recycling Center. The overall goal is to achieve a better environment here in the city of Fort Stockton," said Ramos.
The new drop-off windows remain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Recycling Center makes pick-ups of commercial recycling bins at businesses every Tuesday.