Walton goes to major efforts to recycle

Published: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 02:02 PM.

Mark Simmons, equipment operator, oversees the inmate crews. He works from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and strives to find even more ways to keep the landfill clear.

"My goal is to pull as much stuff as I can so I can keep it from being buried," he said.

It was Simmons' idea to find a proper use for clothing when he started to see a lot of it come in. Now, the landfill keeps a semi-truck trailer on site to be filled with clothes that then get cleaned and sent to disaster areas. He's currently looking for ways to get untreated and treated lumber to chipboard companies as well as composting yard waste.

Working in the landfill, Simmons sees not just waste, but wastefulness. Items such as jewelry, coins and even paper money are common sights, which he keeps locked up in a tackle box.

"I see people's lives thrown away everyday," he said.

Salvageable items are kept to be used in the county sports equipment is commonly thrown away or dropped off at the landfill. The county even hosted yard sales to sell like new goods that come through the facility. Antiques, furniture and like-new items are kept in a trailer to be saved for sales.

"We've sold an amazing oak or cherry armoire from the 1800s. Sold for $100 like that," Svehla said snapping his fingers.

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