Things have been busier than ever at the Campbell County North Landfill and the county’s recycling facility since they reopened to the public.
After being closed for a few weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the landfill opened again April 22 and the CARE Center for recycling reopened Monday.
Matt Olsen, the county’s environmental services manager, said that on an average day, the landfill gets between 150 and 250 tons of garbage.
On April 22, 221 tons were brought to the landfill. The days that followed were in the 190- to 210-ton range with the busiest day being Monday, when people dumped 327 tons of trash.
Operations at the landfill are back to normal as far as the public is concerned, Olsen said.
Landfill staff has been equipped with personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and disinfectant and are limiting their interaction with the public.
On a busy day, the recycle center sees 100 customers come through. On Monday, the first day it was open to the public again, 180 recyclers were served before the day was done.
“We’ve definitely seen people being good recyclers. They’ve been saving up, so when we opened up that first day, we had some of our regulars that made multiple trips,” Olsen said. “We had some lines on Monday, but nothing more than probably a 15-minute wait or so.”
Recycling center employees have been trained to be more hands-off in their approach, Olsen said. Instead of putting the materials in their respective sections, they have to allow the customers to do it themselves to limit interaction.
Olsen said he’d like to see more of that moving forward.
“We’re trying to get the public to do a lot of the sorting themselves and it’s a good opportunity to teach,” he said. “A lot of people still bring stuff that can’t be recycled. Some people do bring us, more or less, bags of garbage.”
He added that he expects traffic at both the landfill and the CARE Center to slow to normal levels in the coming weeks.