Who Are We?
You’ve probably seen Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) staff emptying recycling barrels in your office or driving around Frankfort in big trucks with “Kentucky Government Recycles!” on the side. These workers are with the Kentucky Government Recycling Section (KGRS), a program in the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) created to help state agencies comply with mandatory recycling requirements. State law (KRS 224.10-650) requires all state agencies and state-supported institutions of higher education to develop recycling plans and institute programs to recover materials generated as a result of state government operations. Agencies may elect to operate their own recycling program upon review and approval by the EEC or take advantage of the service provided by KGRS.
KGRS staff provide weekly collection of many types of paper and cardboard, as well as confidential document destruction, to state agencies within Frankfort. KGRS staff can provide agencies with information on how to purchase containers for collection of white office paper, lockable containers for confidential document destruction, newsprint and mixed paper. Employees should separate material at their workspaces and then place it in the appropriate collection container staged in a central location in each office. Each cabinet should also assign a coordinator for each building to be the point of contact for working with the KGRS staff.
KGRS staff collect the material on a regular schedule in each of the state office buildings in Frankfort. Offices outside of the Frankfort service area can deliver materials for recycling and shredding to the KGRS warehouse. The material is transported to a warehouse where it is sorted, baled and loaded for sale to a paper recycling company. All materials are shredded and baled with security and confidentiality in mind.
KGRS operates out of its recycling warehouse at 115 Northgate Drive, Frankfort, under the supervision of Timmy Bryant. Operational costs are covered by revenue derived from the sale of recovered paper funds rather than taxpayer dollars.
We Need Your Help
Many agencies already recycle their cardboard and office paper, the bulk of materials generated by state operations, but we need all employees and all agencies to get on board with recycling. It’s not just the law, recycling saves energy (60 percent less energy is required in making paper from recycled materials than from virgin materials) and it saves money. State purchased paper and cardboard are not “trash” but are, in fact, surplus property. The value of paper in 2015 has averaged $115.00/ton and the cost to throw that same ton away is $38.95/ton. By recycling our office paper, we are recovering $154.03/ton! If we can double the amount of paper we recycle, we will be recovering over $376,214 annually in generated revenue and avoided disposal costs.
Onsite Paper Preparation for Regular Collection
- Employees should sort paper according to the posted recycling guidelines. They may request under-desk recycling boxes from KGRS.
- Please note that paper shredded “in-house” prior to pick up by KGRS staff, causes a safety hazard by creating excessive dust in the KGRS processing warehouse. Staff then breathes this dust. Please refrain from shredding paper in-house. IF an agency does have to shred paper, it must be placed in clear bags, securely tied shut and placed beside the appropriate centralized recycling container. Lockable bins are recommended for sensitive documents, and KGRS staff can assist with locating bins for agency use.