Local ADEM Grants

ADEM’s Blake Schmidt, foreground, discusses the most recent recycling grant series with those attending the presentation last week in Florence.  Looking on from left is Florence Public Works Director, David Koonce; Florence Mayor, Andy Betterton; and ADEM’s Rick Kelsey.  

FLORENCE – Representatives with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management were in town last Wednesday, and they did not show up empty-handed.   Blake Schmidt and Rick Kelsey with ADEM’s Materials Management division made stops at Shoals Solid Waste Authority Recycling Center in Tuscumbia and Florence Recycling Center on Terrace Street. 

The stop in Tuscumbia included a check presentation for $120,647.   The grant will help add a  42’ x 60’ structure onto an existing warehouse and make some other improvements according to SSWA Director, Mike Shewbart.   The enlarged area is where baled materials are stored before being transported by truck to buyers.  The work will also include a covered loading ramp so workers and materials can stay dry during the loading process.  Right now they are exposed to the elements.  

Later in the day, Kelsey and Schmidt came to the Florence Recycling Center with a grant check for $171,470.

According to Florence Public Works Director, David Koonce, the grant will fund a new skid steer at the recycling center, five self-dumping hoppers, and 18 recycling dumpsters.  In addition, $5,000 will be used for recycling education and outreach.

The Lauderdale County Solid Waste Department will receive a one-ton pickup.  The town of Killen will receive a half-ton pickup.  Rogersville, Killen, and St. Florian will each receive enclosed recycling trailers.  

Lauderdale County Solid Waste Department Manager Tom Smith is constantly looking for recycling trailers.  There never seems be enough to go around.   “We have trailers all over the county at the schools,” Smith said. “Some schools have two trailers.”

The Solid Waste Department also has a mobile compactor they take to county schools to collect recyclable materials.

Florence Recycling began in 1988 and has served Florence and surrounding Lauderdale communities and municipalities for over thirty years.  Beginning small, the Florence Recycling Program has steadily worked to improve efficiency and production.    The Florence Recycling Program is a cooperative effort of state and local leadership, residents, school systems, and area businesses. The cooperative has built a successful recycling program that supplies local manufacturers with raw materials supporting our local economy.