MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Recycling Center will be open fewer hours beginning June 8. The new normal business hours will be from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center will be closed Saturdays.
Although the center will not be staffed after 3 p.m., the outside containers will still be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for residents to drop off recyclable items. Additional containers will be available on weekends.
Staff will be available during normal business hours to assist those who need help unloading their items; this will be done at the outside containers. The drive through will no longer be available to the public. All assistance will be done at the outside containers.
For some, the changes might seem like an inconvenience because the center will be closed during the time most working people can make a trip to the center.
“I would guess there are probably some folks that are in need of assistance to unload their recyclables,” said Knox County Commissioner Allen Stockberger. “I am willing to guess that in most cases, if someone is unable to do all the physical part of recycling, I would guess they are probably not in the work force. They might be retired and have a more flexible schedule.”
The recycling center is still accepting drop-off of large appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners and stoves, and will have staff available to help unload these items during business hours. People who can only use the center after hours, however, would probably need help unloading these heavier items.
“I’m not sure how much of that the recycling center handles,” Stockberger said. “Maybe more than I realized.”
Facility manager Rick Burnnette said his staff will do all it can to serve those who want to recycle.
“For the next couple of weeks while people get used to the new hours, we will have staff outside watching for people who need help at the bins,” he said. “One of Sims Brothers core values is customer service, and we will do all we can during this time and will continue to give the best service economically possible.”
In addition to the reduced hours, the recycling center will no longer offer a buyback program for aluminum cans and other non-ferrous metals.
The changes are due to the state of the economy; Sims Brothers has stated it hopes to reinstate hours and restore services cut when it becomes economically viable to do so.