NEW LEXINGTON – One of the many events curtailed by the pandemic was the popular Coffee with the Commish, where community people shared positive insights into what was taking place in their corners of Perry County.
The Board of Perry County Commissioners hosted the informal get-together over breakfast at various restaurants across Perry County. A guest speaker would address the attendees with a spotlight on their business or activity.
This breakfast idea created the opportunity for people to enjoy a good meal and connect with each other without having a corporate-level decision to make it happen. On a sunny Tuesday, April 13 morning, Coffee with the Commish resumed at Dodson’s on Broadway in New Lexington.
The guest speakers were Matt Reed, director at Perry County Waste Reduction & Recycling, and Katrina Carpenter, the education specialist at the same agency. With Matt Reed having not yet arrived, Commissioner Ben Carpenter introduced his wife, Katrina, and asked her to begin her presentation.
Katrina told the 20 people in the breakfast crowd that the annual Ultimate Recycling Day had been canceled for this year, but reminded them that recycling is still important. She brought a chunk of bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum, as an example of a finite resource that makes recycling so important.
“Bauxite is mined in three locations in the world,” stated Katrina, “in Australia, Brazil, and West Africa.” Recycling aluminum cans can extend the lifespan of the available bauxite known to exist.
Matt Reed followed Katrina’s presentation with a report about the modernization about to take place at the recycling plant thanks to a $900,000 grant. He described the problems with the current equipment being used at the plan. He then explained in detail how the new equipment will provide a major upgrade in production as well as safety. Nothing made more of an impression than Reed’s comment on the efficiency of the new equipment.
“Currently we can process three tons of recycled material a day. With the new equipment we will be able to process three tons in an hour,” claimed Reed.
He also informed everyone that a new compressor truck purchased by the plant would allow employees to make one trip to northern Perry County to gather recycled materials instead of making three trips a day to retrieve the same amount of materials.
Reed reminded the breakfast crowd that plastic bottles numbers 1 and 2 can be recycled in Perry County, but bottles marked 3-7 cannot be recycled at the Perry County facility.
After Matt Reed finished his report, Ben Carpenter turned the attention on those attending the breakfast. He asked each person to introduce themselves, and then give an update on current events about their business or agency. From two village mayors to the Perry County Sheriff, each person gave a brief report on activities taking place in Perry County.
Coffee with the Commish is great way to accent the positive aspects of Perry County. As we begin to emerge from the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, this informal gathering offers participants a chance to share good news, have a great breakfast, and see people who have been hidden behind masks for over a year.