Officials break ground on Marion Orton recycling center

Brian Pugh, the city’s waste reduction coordinator, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony held Wednesday morning for the Marion Orton Recycling Center on North Street in Fayetteville.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

City officials broke ground on a new community recycling drop-off facility Wednesday morning in Fayetteville.

The Marion Orton Recycling Center, to be located on the south side of North Street near the Scull Creek Trail crossing, is named after the former Fayetteville mayor and 12-year City Council member.

A photograph of Marion Orton hangs inside City Hall alongside a historical portrait collection of Fayetteville mayors.

Photo: Todd Gill

Orton, a strong supporter of environmental protection, organized Fayetteville’s first recycling center in the early 1970s. The non-profit venture operated inside a metal building on West Avenue near the corner of Maple Street, and focused on recycling newspapers, aluminum cans and glass products.

Orton died last year at the age of 83.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Mayor Lioneld Jordan said naming the new facility in honor of Orton was an easy decision.

“She was a constant voice, both as a private citizen and as an elected official to raise community concerns about environmental issues,” said Jordan. “These include not just words, but deeds that work to divert items from going to a landfill to being recycled and reused.”

Jordan said Orton’s passion for environmental protection was instrumental in the evolution of Fayetteville’s recycling initiatives which now include both residential and commercial recycling programs operated by the city.

Facility location map

Graphic: Todd Gill

Brian Pugh, the city’s waste reduction coordinator, said the new drop-off center will be staffed by an attendant 40 hours per week and that informational signs will be placed at nearby apartment complex dumpsters to encourage residents to use the facility.

The roughly 0.75-acre site will be similar to the city’s only other recycling drop-off facility at 1420 S. Happy Hollow Road, and will include a paved area with eight large containers for residents to recycle glass, aluminum, plastic and paper products.

The project is funded in part by grants from the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, who contributed funds toward containers and planned educational kiosks for the facility.

Pugh said he expected the center to open by spring 2013.