Jerry Bartley of USAgain approached the Boonville City Council Monday night to discuss his business of recycling old materials. He said the business is based in St. Louis County. The company uses bins to collect unwanted items, especially textiles. Bartley said there are 60 bins in Columbia alone and would like to put four bins in Boonville. He said four businesses have shown interest in the bins. Each bin would represent 1,800-2,000 people.
According to http://www.usagain.com/about-us, the company was founded in 1999. It states USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in 17 states. In 2011 the company collected 60 million pounds of clothing, shoes and other textiles. The stated mission of the company is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing. This diverts it from landfills and provides it for resale in the United States and abroad.
Bartley went before the council to seek approval and a blessing to start collecting these items in Boonville.
"I would like to come in and be a part of the city government. Other companies just come in and place their bids and you never see them again. We actually want to be a part of your community," Bartley said.
Boonville Ward Three Councilman Ned Beach asked Bartley what was so special about this company.
He said the company wants to join the Chamber of Commerce and be a part of the school system by teaching about recycling. He further explained that more companies would be coming to town since the recycling industry is gaining momentum and they may not show the involvement his company is wanting to partake.
He said the company is 'for profit', which sells the items received or recycles the items that are too worn. According to Bartley 75 percent of the items stay in the United States.
Bartley, with over 30 years of waste management experience, said the landfills are filling up quickly. He said the Missouri Senate is due to pass a bill that would raise the diversion rate from 40 percent to 70 percent.
"Clothing is the easiest way to get to 70 percent rate," Bartley said.
Questions arose regarding Boonslick Industries and the impact on that company. Bartley said they would not interfere and said there are no plans to take away from Boonslick Industries.
In further news, the second reading of Bill No. 2013-013, approving tourism contracts for services, passed unanimously. The second reading of Bill No. 2013-014, approving gaming contracts for services, passed but with some difficulty as Beach said it was wrong to award one organization the remainder of the grant funds. He said every organization should have gotten a prorated amount. Beach voted against the bill.