SYSK: Winneshiek County Recycling good for taxpayers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Winneshiek County Recycling good for taxpayers


Winneshiek County Recycling in Decorah is getting creative with what they are accepting, Terry Buenzow, Winneshiek County Recycling Manager, said.

They accept the standard recyclables, like cardboard, plastics and paper, but it also takes some more unique items like kitchenware, clothes and shoes.

"We try to open it up to get a little more... We'll take your old bicycle, your lawn mower, your treadmill," Buenzow said.

He said he has worked hard to make the facility as efficient as possible, especially after the county took over in 2009.

"He's a good guy to have around," John Logsdon, Winneshiek County Supervisor, said.

The facility serves more than 20,000 people, who are all stake holders in the operation.

"The supervisor's goal was to make this at least a revenue neutral entity onto the county, but as it turns out, it's going to put tax money back into the pocket of the tax payer," Logsdon said.

The recycling center actually makes money for Winneshiek County, Logsdon said.

"You can't do this unless you've got a good supporting cast, and we do," he said.

The recycling facility works with about 2800 tons a year, and has fewer employees than most recycling centers.

"There's only three full-time employees doing all this," said Terry Buenzow.

Buenzow said he and all the employees are working hard for the people of Winneshiek County, which puts more money in their pockets.

"Recycling is the only department, line-item in our budget that generates revenue," said Logsdon.

Supervisor Logsdon refers to Terry Buenzow as the "recycling guru." He said Buenzow has all types of ways to make the center more efficient and to get rid of stuff as it comes in.

"One thing we do make out of this facility is specialty packs, specialty products for different users. They put in an order and we deliver," said Buenzow.

Some packs are turned into receipt rolls, others become carpet and clothing items are sent overseas.

Terry Buenzow is invested in this center, and he hopes his passion gets even more people in Winneshiek County to start recycling because after all, it's in their best interest for it to succeed.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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