Florence Public Works Committee moves forward proposal for ADEM grant

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FLORENCE, Ala. — Employees at the Florence Recycle Center work to sift through and sort countless pounds of materials daily.

In 2019, grant money from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management allowed the recycle center to purchase a new automated sorting line. The line helps to separate paper from containers like bottles and jugs.

Florence Recycling Director David Koonce said grants like this help save manpower and allow for a much more thorough sorting process. So, it comes to no surprise that the city is looking to apply for another grant in 2020.

"This grant comes up every year; we've applied every year for things that we need to make us a little bit more efficient," said Koonce.

With the 2019 grant, the recycle center also purchased a new baler which will allow more materials to be compacted to save space. With the proposed 2020 grant, Koonce said the center will purchase an eddy current recycling system.

Eddy currents work by separating non-ferrous metals like aluminum cans from the rest of the materials.

"It's a bit of automation that we would use to keep somebody from having to grab the cans and sort them; this machine will do it for us," said Koonce.

The city has applied and been approved for the ADEM grant every year since 2009. It's all part of a continuing effort to keep Florence and Lauderdale County as clean as possible for now, and for future generations.

The Florence Public Works Committee moved the grant proposal forward on Friday and the city council will vote on Tuesday.