Let’s hear it for the Recycle Dogs who wrestle up savings for Lopez residents! Put on your work gloves, ear protection and safety glasses and imagine a whirring buzz of small tools coming alive on a Wednesday morning at the Lopez Dump. Meet a group of 12 volunteers who work diligently in the din, out of the spotlight and provide a heaping pile of recyclable metals out of discarded junk.
Our own Lopez Solid Waste Recycle Dogs deconstruct and organize massive volumes of recycled scrap metal, breaking it down into smaller components with much greater value. The Recycle Dogs are a group of volunteers who meet one to two times a month for three-hour sessions. They joke that their work provides both a free work-out and the best kind of anger management as they sledge hammer old washers, dryers, barbecues and lawnmowers.
Led by Jim Lombard, former LSWDD Board member, this group of highly skilled volunteers have a well-organized outdoor workspace that helps them accomplish their work efficiently and effectively. Their volunteer efforts help the dump’s bottom line. Over the past 18 months, metals sorted and scrapped by the Recycle Dogs have sold for a remarkable value of roughly $3,500 to recyclers! In this period, they have helped LSWDD recycle nearly 5,000 pounds of metal, ensuring top-dollar receipts for the most valuable metals, including steel, copper, lead, irony brass and aluminum.
Metal recycling is also the latest focus of LSWDD’s “Year to Zero Waste Campaign.” Most Lopezians know you can easily recycle aluminum and steel cans in the recycle plaza. Many have seen the beautiful new bins for copper, aluminum and steel, but did you know that you can recycle small appliances and other objects that are 50 percent steel or more?
To find out if an appliance has steel in it, apply a magnet. Only metals that are ferrous, or contain iron, will stick to the magnet. To recycle large appliances, like washers and ovens, there is a $22 fee. All appliances that contain freon require a $56 disposal fee, regardless of size, as they require specialized technicians to handle them.
On behalf of Lopez, thank you, Recycle Dogs, for all your hard work! If you have questions about metal recycling or becoming a member of the Recycle Dogs team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lopezsolidwaste.org.