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Recycling effort to benefit veterans going strong

Other recycling costing county, cities money

Staff writer

Aluminum can donations to help veterans visit national monuments are going strong in Marion County.

Cans 4 Kansas Honor Flights, operated by McPherson resident Warren Vincent, makes a monthly stop at Marion’s Veterans of Foreign Wars to pick up cans donated to help pay for veterans to visit their war memorials in the District of Columbia.

The organization also has 26 collection sites throughout central Kansas.

Marion’s collection site, started in 2014, yields about 1,000 pounds of cans a month, Vincent said.

“It has really picked up in the last few weeks,” he said. “Marion over the years has probably funded a dozen veterans on a Kansas Honor Flight.”

Vincent said the price paid for cans in 2020 is about half what it was a year ago, meaning it now takes 2,580 pounds to fund one WWII, Korean or Vietnam Veteran on a flight.

“Let me say it is overwhelming and everyday is can day somewhere in eight counties,” Vincent said. “I keep thinking this is the last year but I keep hanging in there.”

Other recyclables are taken by the county to a facility in South Hutchinson.

The county temporarily stopped its recycling program after that recycling center, which formerly paid the county for recyclables, started charging $98.50 a ton to accept recyclables.

The county then planned to take recyclables to Fort Riley, which charges nothing. Before a load was taken to Fort Riley, the facility was shut down because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The South Hutchinson facility now charges $120 a ton.

County commissioners planned to discontinue recycling, but the cities of Hillsboro and Marion both agreed to pay $82 a ton to help defray the cost.

In July, when the agreement between the county and the cities went into effect, Hillsboro was billed $1,643.97 for 40,100 lbs of recyclables taken to the transfer station.

Marion paid $499.90 for 9,500 pounds of recyclables that month.

Last modified Sept. 10, 2020

 

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