New recycling program brings changes to campus

Auriel Brown

Recently, the physical plant has had a change in service providers.

After a few years with Service Recycling located at 1015 Illinois, Southern switched to Roll Off Services, a company which just opened an office in Neosho.

Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant said business with Service Recycling started about five years ago.

Harrington said under the original program, custodians would collect the recycled material by each building and set it outside for the grounds crew to pick it up and then bring it down to the physical plant where it would be sorted out. Then Service Recycling would come pick it up. According to Harrington, the company had several bins around campus.

“Originally they were going to pay us $50 per bin of recycled material,” Harrington said. “That never occurred.”

He said it may have been due to the fact Service Recycling was going to pay $50 per bin on white or cardboard paper and it eventually got to a point where the bins were mixed with both white and cardboard paper.

This was a problem for Service Recycling.

“We ended up to the point where I had to call them continuously to come empty the bins,” Harrington said.

After about six to eight months of the situation, Harrington said the University began to receive services from a group called the Associated Recyclers of the Midwest, who the University had already been affiliated with.

“They actually started coming up and going around the campus with their truck,” Harrington said. “They would actually come pick up the recycled material outside the buildings so we never had to handle it, and that was a much better situation for us.”

The director of Associated Recyclers eventually introduced Harrington to Roll Off Services, which would later replace Service Recycling.

Roll Off Services then continued what Associated Recyclers started, coming on campus and picking up all the recyclables and taking them back to Neosho, so Harrington said it was only fair to give to give the cardboard to Roll Off.

Amiel Oberman, owner of Service Recycling said he was not clear on why his services were dismissed.

“We basically had no complaints on the service, it’s free,” he said.

Oberman said his customers extend from Seventh Street, and 32nd to Carthage and Pittsburg.

Oberman said several weeks ago, Southern ordered a third container with them, received it and then in the same week cancelled their services.

As far as the original payment agreement, Oberman said it was for bins of white office paper, but instead his company received everything except what was requested.

“If their complaint was that four years ago I said I was going to pay for it, that’s pretty thin,” Oberman said. ” If they wanted pay for the material they should’ve forced that issue four years ago.”

Oberman said he feels the real issue is some other company came and fed Southern a good “song and dance line” and convinced Southern to switch to their services.

He also said the replacement company, which to his knowledge has a bad reputation, does not have Service Recycling’s credentials making the situation even more difficult.

“Now they are going with a company that has no customers in Joplin,” Oberman said. “The college is switching to a trash company that has no recycling customers so what would be the logical explanation that’s going to happen to their recyclables.”

In the past, Roll Off Services has received several citations in violation to city ordinances with its trash disposal.

While Harrington said he does not know if there is any truth to the violations, he does know the recycling material from Southern does go to the recycling center in Neosho, because of the University’s membership with the association and the money received goes to the association.