Blue Springs recycling drop off site may end after being overwhelmed

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- It may get a lot harder for people here to recycle plastics, paper and other household waste.

The owner of the Blue Springs Recycling Center says people are turning his business into a dumping ground for trash.

This business makes its money recycling metals, and customers drop off aluminum, copper and brass for the center to buy and sell.

To encourage recycling, and as a courtesy for customers, the business provided a recycling bin for cardboard and other household waste.

That bin soon turned into a popular drop off site for both customers and Blue Springs neighbors.

The center now has three recycling bins and it's still not enough, especially after the city shut down its recycling center. Blue Springs elected leaders claim the city lost too much money operating it.

"I’m just more at a level where I am done paying," said Scott Jacobs, owner of the Blue Springs Recycling Center. "This is the maximum amount of money I’m willing to pay. Those are the maximum amount of bins I’m willing to carry. If you can’t come on the days they are empty and use them in some sort of respectful way, I'm not expecting 100% compliance, you’re not going to get that. Just remember there are guys taking care of those. We don’t get any money for that. We are doing it out of the kindness of our hearts. Those are what’s in jeopardy of going away."

Jacobs says it costs the business about $12,000 a year to accept household recyclables, which aren't profitable.

He said it's one thing to offer a community service, but demand for that service has become so strong, that it's becoming a drain on the rest of his business.

Jacobs has proposed a public/private partnership with the city of Blue Springs to expand the paper/plastic recycling operation and help defray some of the costs, but the city has not responded to the offer.

The Blue Springs communications manager released the following statement to FOX4:

"Blue Springs Recycling has served this community for many years; providing a valuable service to our residents. We hope they are able to find a business model that will allow them to continue operations but we certainly understand the challenges facing the entire recycling industry in today’s economy."

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