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Recycling Scrap Metals Could Play Fundamental Role In Maintaining State Health Care Capacity

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Grocery stores have seen a rise in sales with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s stay at home order, and a lot of waste is created from that. But many recycling centers in Kentucky that serve as an essential part of the supply chain are shut down due to the coronavirus. 

Andy Naghtin is owner of City Salvage, an operating metal recycling center in Christian County. Naghtin said there’s been an increase in aluminum cans sold and cardboard packages delivered, with people stocking up on groceries and shopping more online. Yet many recycling and metal salvage centers across the Commonwealth have ceased operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Naghtin said this is leaving packaging suppliers with little scrap to make new boxes and products. Some centers remain open with new safety protocols. 

“We sell a lot of aluminum cans. We had a plant that we sell aluminum cans to call us inquiring about whether we were going to remain open,” Naghtin said. “They are an international company, and they fear running out of aluminum to make aluminum cans out. I feel like a lot of people are overbuying when they go to the store.” 

According to Naghtin, scrap metals play a “vital” role in the supply chain of the state’s medical equipment. 

“Recycling is vital to the supply chain of lots of different things, and stainless steel is huge for medical applications. Without the scrap yards, collecting metal and sending it back in over time could, that really slow down the ability to be able to produce, you know, different medical instruments.”

City Salvage is doing no-contact drop-offs and only accepts scrap metals. Naghtin’s center does not handle any paper or cardboard drop-offs. He said people should still bring in their metals in an effort to maintain production of metal goods.

Hannah is a Murray State Journalism major. She found her place in radio during her second year in Murray. She is from Herndon, KY, a small farming community on the Kentucky/Tennessee stateline.
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