Jerry and Deann Tidwell run Williamson County Recycle Center in Georgetown with their son Hugh Tidwell and his wife, Kelley.
The Tidwells first operated PA-jer, an industrial waste management company. The company could have set itself up to take household hazardous waste but wasn’t permitted to do so, and it would have been cost prohibitive. Texas law prohibits recycle centers from disposing of both household and industrial waste.
But the Tidwells said they could not escape calls from residents who wanted a place to discard waste, and regulations could not deter them from providing the services for those in need. A new business was formed, with PA-jer serving as the parent company.
Williamson County Recycle Center opened in September 2006. According to data from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website, it is the only privately owned household hazardous waste disposal facility that has been approved by the state as a permanent collection facility.
“We offer a service that provides safety not only to the homeowner but to the guy next door and to keep our environment clean,” Jerry said. “[Our materials] will never go to a municipal landfill. Some limited items will go to an industrial landfill.”
The recycling center also collects soda bottles and other household recyclables.[/caption]
The center prepares materials people bring to be shipped out to either be reused in some fashion or destroyed safely.
“Historically, 80-85 percent of everything that comes through this facility is either recycled or reused in some format,” Jerry said.
WCRC also runs a free reuse program. If a retail chemical, like paint, or cleaning products, is presented in its original container with a legible label, other customers can take it home for free.
Georgetown and Hutto have contracts with WCRC that allow citizens to use the service for free or for a reduced cost.
The center does not pick up waste or recyclables but is interested in providing curbside services to Georgetown residents in the future. The company’s contract with Georgetown allows residents who receive city services to utilize WCRC services free of charge. Those who live in extraterritorial jurisdictions, or ETJs, are expected to pay 50 percent of the cost, and the city covers the rest.
Williamson County Recycle Center
495 CR 156, Georgetown
Hours: Thu.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. , Sat. 8 a.m.-noon, closed Sun.-Wed.