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County board discusses recycling
Commissioners briefed on cardboard, deny scrap metal site
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners talked a lot of trash at its board meeting Thursday.

Well, recycling to be exact.

Natural Resources Coordinator Rick Foote presented the commission with information about the recycling market, which he explained is a good economic indicator.

Foote said that cardboard recycling is one of the best ways to gauge the state of the economy.

"You cannot point to anything in this room that has not spent part of its life in a cardboard box," Foote said. "Economic downturn impacts cardboard directly because it’s tied to commerce or lack there of ... This year was a light year for cardboard — not a good indicator."

Foote said he is hopeful that the economy has hit its lowest point because the price of cardboard is starting to rebound.

The price of cardboard fell to its lowest point at $20 per ton late last year. Foote said the most recent offer the county received for cardboard was $40 per ton.

"You can’t hide the truth that the markets have hit bottom. No one’s seen them this low," Foote said.

The commission also denied a zoning appeal by World Recycling.

Dan Summers, the attorney representing the scrap metal recycling center, said the Hall County Planning Commission’s decision to classify it as a junkyard — which would not be allowed in the current zoning regulations of the Athens Highway property — is inaccurate.

"Take a hard look at what in fact a junkyard is. When I looked at the ordinance there was nothing in there that applied to a recycling facility," Summer said. "It seems a little bit unfair now to come back after the fact after they purchased the property and obtained the business license to say ‘no, this is a junkyard,’ and deny them the opportunity to do business."

Commissioner Steve Gailey made a motion to deny the appeal, but allow the business four months to go through the rezoning process without levying any fines.

"I understand it’s recycling. I don’t consider it a junkyard but I do look at it as a scrap metal operation. And a scrap metal operation is going to require a different zoning of the property than what’s existing," Gailey said.