According to data from Mobile County, the government’s newest recycling center in West Mobile — a partnership with Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast — is already outpacing its original estimates.A press release received on Thursday suggests the center is averaging almost 1,900 cars per week, or more than 250 per day. Those numbers far exceed the originally estimated visitor count discussed when the facility opened in November.
A recently installed automatic car counter revealed a much higher usage rate than conservative estimates indicated, according to a Goodwill Easter Seals representative.
“Community support of the Mobile County Recycling Center has been overwhelming,” said Goodwill Easter Seals President and CEO Frank Harkins. “It definitely shows that the people in West Mobile County were looking for a way to recycle.”
In addition to the new visitor count numbers, the agency also reports a huge volume of recyclables: more than 690,000 pounds of material in less than four months of operation, much more than 1.5 million pounds originally planned for.
“These numbers speak to the widespread appeal of recycling and the desire of our citizens to be responsible stewards of our environment,” said Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson.
In order to handle this unexpected volume, Goodwill Easter Seals has supplemented its seven paid staff members with 70 volunteers, 12 court-appointed community service workers and 11 students from Augusta Evans School, who have contributed over 900 hours of labor combined at the recycling center.
Their time and labor have allowed the facility to operate for 10.5 hours each day, seven days a week.
“The new numbers are a tribute to the capabilities of our partner agency,” Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, “And a clear indication that this project provides a much-wanted service for our county.”
The Mobile County Commission built the facility by tapping federal grants to Gulf Coast states from offshore gas and oil revenues. Goodwill Easter Seals operates the recycling center, but is relying heavily on volunteers to keep things running smoothly.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the center or learning more about recycling and sustainability, can contact Goodwill Easter Seals at 251-471-1581 or visit online at www.mobilecountyrecyclingcenter.com.
The facility is located at 7450 Hitt Road near the Mobile County fairgrounds.