Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Curbside recyclers in Lawrence working around closure of 12th and Haskell center

December 14, 2011


Several curbside recycling companies continued to operate in Lawrence on Wednesday despite a sudden decision by the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center to stop accepting many materials following a dispute with City Hall.

Bo Killough, owner of the recycling center, followed through on promises made after Tuesday’s Lawrence City Commission meeting that he would stop accepting most household recycling items.

Six curbside recycling companies used the 12th and Haskell center as their drop-off point for recycling, but several providers Wednesday said they were adjusting to the change.

“I probably will drive about twice as many miles as I normally do, but we’re working hard to make it work,” said Jeff Joseph, owner of Jeff’s Curbside Recycling.

Killough gave the recycling companies little notice that he was going to close the household portion of his business. Killough made the announcement about 11 p.m. Tuesday after city commissioners directed staff members to formulate a future enforcement action against the company.

The business had drawn concerns from several neighbors about large numbers of junk cars and other recycled material that are being stored outside. Neighbors also expressed concerns about noise and large amounts of industrial activity related to crushing cars and loading recycled materials for shipping.

City commissioners on Tuesday did not force Killough to close the recycling operations. Killough instead made the decision after hearing commissioners criticize how the business was being operated. Killough did keep open the part of the business that buys scrap metal.

An employee at the center said Killough plans to keep the household portion of the business closed.

The decision left some curbside recycling companies miffed.

“It is going to be real inconvenient for us,” said Chris Scafe, owner of Sunflower Curbside Recycling, who was selling some materials at a recycling center in Topeka on Wednesday. “But we’re going to make it work. I feel like Bo is kind of playing a game here.

“I’m not going to deal with him anymore. It probably is best that he get out of the business.”

The long-term future of the business wasn’t entirely clear after Tuesday’s meeting. Commissioners largely sided with neighbors who showed videos and pictures of intensive operations that occur just across the street from their homes.

The recycling center is located on property that is zoned for residential use. Killough and his attorney have argued that the business has certain rights to exist under a grandfather provision in the city’s zoning code. Neighbors have disagreed with that assertion, and city staff members have struggled with how to interpret the code.

A new option for curbside recycling companies may come online by late January. Kevin Weldon with Tonganoxie-based Honey Creek Disposal said he hopes to have his company’s recycling processing center open by the end of next month. The company is remodeling the former Lacy Steel building on the Leavenworth-Douglas County line along Kansas Highway 32.

Honey Creek, which is a regular customer of Killough’s, will use the new facility to service its curbside operations in Eudora and De Soto. Weldon said the facility also will be open to other curbside recycling companies, but it will not be open to the general public.

Killough’s operations were open to the general public, and unlike the Walmart recycling center, patrons did not have to sort the recycling. The 12th and Haskell center also took some items that Walmart did not.

“The unfortunate thing is I’m concerned more people are going to start dumping items in the trash,” Joseph said.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

The end of the world is not here.

Perhaps a recycler or two would consider buying the 12th and Haskell location. Would not be a bad idea.

sourpuss 6 years, 3 months ago

The point is NOT to have recycling at that location. It is zoned residential. Period. The fact that a junkyard existed there for a while does not change that. No one is against recycling or this business, it is the location that is a problem. The banging and crashing is incredible, the heavy truck traffic is tearing up chip-seal residential streets, and the unwashed materials attract rodents and raccoons. They either need to rezone the land and decrease the surrounding property values, or the businesses needs to move to a more appropriate site.

irvan moore 6 years, 3 months ago

i think bo would be more a more sympathetic figure if he didn't take it out on the people who keep him in business

Steve Jacob 6 years, 3 months ago

He is proving a point, that his company is needed and I agree with what's he's doing.

Catalano 6 years, 3 months ago

So maybe he can relocate to an area that is legally zoned.

Catalano 6 years, 3 months ago

You go, Chris! It's clear you understand the situation. I have always admired the excellent customer service you provide.

Did not see/hear Jeff Joseph at City Commission last night. Or any of the other local recycling services. I kind of feel badly for them that their main drop off/dump facility has apparently been operating illegally, but that blame lies squarely with the city and with Bo. I do not see this as any conspiracy by the city to get Deffenbaugh in here to do all city recycling.

cheapskate 6 years, 3 months ago

Look around 12th street. Talk about trash... Bo provides a service that Lawrence tries to promote. When it was Ray's garage people didn't have a clue what was being dumped there. It's a lot more enviromently friendly than it was. His business puts money in the hands of people who otherwise would be taking it from you the tax payer. If they don't like it then maybe the people around 12th street should clean up their yards and take the junk to Bo and get money for it. Then they could use the money to put a coat of paint on the homestead and mow the yard! What's next??

windjammer 6 years, 3 months ago

"It's alot more enviromently friendly than it was". You are either related to Bo or his lawyer. As his lawyer was also in a deep fog at the commission meeting.

gccs14r 6 years, 3 months ago

There's a difference between being a recycling drop-off point and doing industrial metal shredding. One can coexist with a residential area if it's done responsibly. The other needs to be in an industrial park somewhere.

crazyredneckmomma4 6 years, 3 months ago

There are people in the area that depend on 12th & Haskell Recycling to pay their bills every month!!! If the city forces Bo to close it will do more negative than positive. Did the city even consider that 12th and Haskell Recycling helps people feed their children, pay their bills by buying unwanted scrap? Do these neighbors understand good things this business does? How many people this business helps? No I think these neighbors are selfish, inconsiderate people that need to get a hobby other than spying on a company that provides a way for people to supplement their income. There are a lot more people this business helps than there are neighbors in that area!!! I think the city is trying to close Bo's to benefit itself somehow... they aren't even considering the positive that this business does!!! Sad very sad!!

GardenMomma 6 years, 3 months ago

There is a place in North Lawrence that buys scrap metal. So if one is depending on selling scrap metal to buy food for children or pay bills, all is not lost if Bo goes out of business.

juma 6 years, 3 months ago

Hey, this is great. New recycling place on hwy 32, take hwy24 (teepee road) sell my ill-gotten gains and then stop at Paradise on the way back. Love it!!!

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