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Newton County schools contract for foam tray recycling

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is not giving up on foam tray recycling.

After dealing with the closing of a foam tray recycling center last school year when the NCSS program started, system officials are trying again to keep the program alive.

"During recent months, the school system has sought to find ways to facilitate the recycling of foam trays used by the school system's nutrition program," said NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley in a memo to the board. "As a result, B&W Waste Inc. has agreed to partner with a foam tray manufacturer to provide this service."

In the July 21 combined monthly meeting of the Newton County Board of Education, the board members unanimously approved a $35,900 contract with B&W Waste Inc. of Madison.

"I think it's the right thing to do," said board member Cathy Dobbs, who has been a strong supporter of the program since it started last school year.

According to the contract, B&W Waste Inc. is responsible for the compression and packaging of (used) polystyrene foam products for NCSS; the company then will return the foam parts to the manufacturer for reuse.

School system officials hope to earn an overall savings from the recycling program by reducing landfill costs, trash pick up and the use of Dumpsters.

"It is conservatively estimated reducing the number of solid waste containers will save the school system $67,000 annually," Whatley said. "The cost of the contract with B&W Waste Inc. plus estimated operating expenses associated with the program total approximately $65,662, resulting in an anticipated net savings of $1,338."

Currently, each of the NCSS elementary schools are participating in the foam tray recycling program, but Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for operations at NCSS, said the district hopes to start the program at the middle and high schools this year.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.