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Recycling parks on Purcell’s wish list

Bill Purcell has hopes the Richmond Parks Board and the city of Richmond has plans for recycling as big as his vision.
After a brief presentation to the Richmond Parks Board Monday night, Purcell hopes the Parks Board will add a city recycling park to its Master Plan for 2009, a list of projects and improvements the Board hopes to progress toward in the next year.
“I think it could be a reality,” Purcell said. “It depends on what the consensus of the whole Board is . . . It depends on how successful (Richmond compost facility supervisor Rick Eiler) can be with the compost park.”
Purcell’s evidence focused on the start-up cost of recycling parks for cities in the Kansas City metro area, such as Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit, as well as their benefits to the communities and needs to be effective.
Purcell’s presentation explained that for larger suburban areas such as Blue Springs or Lee’s Summit, the start-up cost seems to hover near $90,000, with the possibility the park becomes self-sustaining after that. Crucial needs for an effective park, he added, would include a fully paved location and constant supervision. Purcell personally sees potential in Eiler.
“It sounds like (Eiler) is the right kind of guy for that position,” Purcell said.
According to Purcell’s research, a similar budget with at least two full-time caretakers for the park is able to keep a recycling park in those two areas open an average of two days per week. He hopes such a budget could do at least that much for a Richmond facility if not more. He also entertains the possibility of allowing people outside Richmond to utilize the facility for a fee.
City Council liason to the Parks Board Mike Wright feels the biggest hurdle to clear will be the financial one.
“One thing we’re going to have to look at very closely, is the cost of it,” Wright said. “At this time, the city doesn’t have any money to start any projects like that. It’s going to depend on how much the Parks Board wanted to get involved in it, but I think it could work.”
Purcell went Wright one better in terms of obstacles to the park.
“The closer in the city to the populous, the more successful this will be,” Purcell said. “The difficulty getting where we’re at now, is we go out of the city, into the country and into the facility.”

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