Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cook County Recycling Center

I spent an interesting morning last week touring the central facility of the Cook County Recycling Center.  The Recycling Center is part of the County's Planning and Zoning Department under Director Tim Nelson.

Recycling Center Supervisor Jeff Sylvester was kind enough to give me a tour of the operation from the Store to the loading dock and more.  Cook County's Recycling program includes a central drop-off and processing facility in Grand Marais and six rural drop-off centers located in Tofte, Lutsen, Grand Portage and (3) on the Gunflint Trail.  The Grand Marais site is also home to the "Budget Shop" which sells used clothing and household goods at prices typically from $.25 up to $1.00.  

Sylvester explained that the Center has recently met its goal to reach a 35% recycling rate in Cook County.  This means that 1/3 of waste in Cook County is recycled.  He was careful to point out, however, that recycled materials is not garbage.  It is a marketable product.  Currently, Cook County works with Recycle America to sell its recycled products.

Jeff Sylvester began at the Cook County Recycling Center when it was basically a 1 or 2 person operation and has played a vital role in the growth of the program in Cook County.  The Center now has 4 employees.

Sylvester finds his job rewarding because he believes in the program and encourages the public to take advantage of the valuable services provided by the Cook County Recycling Center.  Click HERE for hours and information about the Recycling Center.