New recycling company locating in Bainbridge

Published 4:38 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A new business offering more options for households and businesses to dispose of their recyclable materials is set to open in March, according to Stephanie Cunningham, one of the business partners, who spoke at Rotary this week.

Cunningham, originally from Missouri, is a graduate from the University of Kansas, with a degree in international business.

She has started several companies in her career and recently moved to Bainbridge from Florida.

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The company locating in Decatur County is called SmithCo Recycling. She and her partner Garrett Smith already have a location in Havana, but as they explored Bainbridge they saw a lack of recycling and seized the opportunity to begin a business here.

Cunningham said she couldn’t believe there was no curbside recycling in Bainbridge and would love to see that in the future with the support of the City.

She told of a trip to the landfill where she saw up to 20 trucks lined up to dispose of their garbage. She cited figures from the EPA that 75 percent of household garbage is recyclable, yet only 25 percent is recycled. She saw a whole truck load of plastic that could have been recycled and wanted to purchase it, but was told that once a load is inside the gates, you cannot remove it.

She sees a big market in plastics from farmers, especially the tons of ag film used in tomato fields.

SmithCo accepts computers, home appliances, air conditioners, automotive scrap, and even carpet padding.

They buy all those things, remove all the copper, aluminum and brass and send it off for processing.

She described their business as a collection site, not a processing site.

The company has not completely settled on a site, but are working with IDA Executive Director, Rick McCaskill to locate one. They expect to be able to announce the location soon and be up and running in March.

McCaskill, a Rotarian, volunteered that this is a service badly needed in the county, now that Schnitzers has closed. He said many people will just dump old appliances on a dirt road in the county rather than take it to the landfill and pay to dispose of it.

Persons wishing to know more about the company or to request a pick-up may call 229-220-1582.