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City of Eaton Rapids to close recycling drop-off center

Sign that reads "Welcome to....The Only Eaton Rapids on Earth."
City of Eaton Rapids
The City of Eaton Rapids will close its recycling center before the end of July. The last day to drop off recyclables is July 19.

The City of Eaton Rapids will permanently close its drop-off recycling center before the end of July.

Over the past two years, Eaton Rapids’ Mayor Pam Colestock says the center on Market Street has seen an uptick in non-recyclable items being dumped at the site including items like construction materials, car parts and garbage.

She says those actions have become costly and run counter to the city's recycling efforts.

Colestock adds it’s difficult to monitor because of the center’s location.

“The unfortunate thing is that the area is not real conducive for security. We can’t really put [up] cameras. We can’t fence it in. It’s just the way that it’s located doesn’t allow for us to be able to do that, to prevent these things from happening,” she said.

Colestock says, for the most part, people were using the center correctly, but cleaning up the garbage became too expensive. She says the city met with both Hamlin and Eaton Rapids Townships before all agreed to close the center.

The city received a grant of around $16,000 from Eaton County Resource Recovery to operate it, but Colestock said the city was paying between $20,000 to $30,000 a year for Granger Wastewater Services to pick up and sort materials.

“The city took on this knowing that there would be some expense, and that’s totally okay. But when it’s doubled what our grant money opportunity can be, that's when we really had to look at it and … make a change because it was just costing too much money,” she said.

The city plans to open a more secure site in the future with more room to expand accepted items. Officials are currently looking at building a center in the industrial park, but the search process is still early.

Colestock says Granger Wastewater Services will pick up the last of the center’s recycling on July 20. The last day for the public to drop off recycling is July 19.

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to visit theEaton County website for alternative recycling sites.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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