Demand exceeds recycling center’s expectations as CRV buybacks resume

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EUREKA, Calif. (KEIM)-Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s Eureka Recycling Center resumed their CRV buyback redemption services Monday.  

The demand for the service far exceeded HWMA’s expectation.   

With it being the first full day of CRV buybacks in Eureka – community members came in droves.   

“We should have known better to then to come in soon with it, because we kind knew there’d be a big line,” said Humboldt County resident Jerry Lee Lowitz. 

Eureka resident Shelley Johnson agreed. 

“I do wish I would have waited, because the line is really long, yeah it’s horrendous,” said Johnson.  

But not horrendous enough for her to leave the line.  

Humboldt county residents have waited months for their local center to resume CRV buyback operations – until now – the closest location was crescent city – nearly two hours away.  

Executive Director Jill Duffy says, her team knew there’s be a high volume of traffic – customers should expect a minimum 45-minutes to more than an hour wait, to get into the facility.   

“So currently traffic is backed-up onto Hawthorne Street, Felt Street and backing up onto Del Norte Street.  So, we’ve got employees off site helping to control traffic.” 

Which means there are fewer employees on site working to process CRV buyback materials -which according to Duffy – is overwhelming her staff.  

“Prior to the shutdown occurring we would typically handle about 490 transaction per day and our average pay out was about $3,300 in totality.” 

A stark difference from Tuesday’s soft launch – Duffy says, there were 290 transactions and a total payout of $6,000.  

“What that represents is, that fewer customers with really significant size loads,” she said.    

Humboldt Waste Management Authority Director of Operations Eric Keller says, customers have been doing pretty well about adhering to their new guidelines.   

“The need in the community is very high, they haven’t had the opportunity to recycle their material out, and staff is trying to do the best we can,” he said.  

The best way their customers can help them is with a little cooperation, Duffy says.  

“It would be helpful if people could wait a few days or a couple of weeks, so that we can better stage the inflow of material coming in,” she said.   

The Eureka Recycling Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – with time set aside between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and people who are immunocompromised  

Customer’s must have their materials sorted prior to entering the gate, wear a face-covering and practice social distancing, for more information call (707) 268-8680.