Web Recycling works on reopening after COVID-19

BY Charmaine Little

Question: Tell me a little about Web Recycling.
Answer: Founded in 1995, Web Recycling is currently the only CRV recycler in the Kern River Valley. We are also a nonprofit and will continue to provide assistance to those in need during this historic time.

Q: Can you give an update on WEB Recycling’s reopen amid COVID-19 changes?
A: When we were preparing to reopen, BARK Recycling, our former processor, shut down completely. Our glass processor shut down, and CALRecycle, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, has offered little assistance or guidance. Due to the current pandemic, all certified processors in Kern County have closed. The nearest material processor is 170 miles away. Debra Smith, WEB’s General Manager, has been working for three months to help establish an operational processing facility locally.

As of Aug. 22, 2020, they were ordered not to open by the Kern County Public Health Department as our county is still experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. This leaves WEB Recycling with no viable way to dispose of the materials we take in. Without a local processor to receive our materials, we cannot get paid for those materials and in turn, cannot pay our customers for the materials they turn in. As such, we are unable to open until our current processor can open or another viable processor can be found.

Q: What steps has WEB Recycling taken in the meantime?
A: During this time, WEB Recycling has worked diligently to prepare our facility to meet the health requirements set down by the state, county, and CALRecycle. Our team will be outfitted with all appropriate PPE to ensure the safety of our customers and crew.

Q: Considering this, what are the new guidelines and requirements for recycling?
A: Prior to arriving to the recycling facility, please sort all materials by type, including plastics by number, glass with clear separation from colors, and aluminum cans separate from all others. Ensure that there is no contamination of materials (i.e. there may not be any substances other than what was originally packaged in the container- no water bottles with juice residue or similar, no cigarette butts, needles, sand, sunflower seeds, chew residue, etc.)

After arriving at the facility, vehicles must form a single line and customers must stop at the appointed area and wait to be called by a WEB team member. Only one customer may exit the car per order and only one customer may be serviced at a time. Face coverings are required at all times. You may unload your bags behind your vehicle and wait for a crew member to retrieve them. Crew members are required to unload all materials into barrels for inspection and weighing. You may watch the weighing of your materials at this time. After materials are weighed, customers may approach the cashier’s window. Please have your ID ready as we are unable to service customers without proper identification.

Q: Is there a final word you wanted to leave with consumers?
A: To all members of our community, we are here to support you in every way we are legally allowed to at this moment. We hope our community bears with us as we navigate the current situation and do our best to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.

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