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HAMILTON - Recycling just became easier in Ravalli County.

Starting this Saturday, Ravalli County Recycling will open its gates just off Old Corvallis Road in Hamilton from 9 a.m. to noon and open up its pocketbook to pay for aluminum, copper, brass and stainless steel.

“We’ve had a lot of people come by or call us up to say they have a hard time making it here on Mondays,” said Doug Soehren, the center’s operation’s manager. “That was hard to do for some working people.”

Before now, the recycling center had accepted material from 3 p.m. to dusk on Mondays.

In the dead of winter, dusk comes early.

“We think opening on Saturdays will provide a better service for people,” Soehren said.

The mostly volunteer crew has gone through a couple of dry runs over the past couple of weekends. Those have gone pretty well, Soehren reported.

The center will continue its Monday hours, but will only pay for the metal recyclables on Saturday.

“We expect that aluminum cans will be by far the most popular,” Soehren said.

The start-up grants the group received went mostly to pay for equipment, including a recycling compactor truck that hauls recyclable materials to Missoula on a weekly basis.

“We’ve been gathering enough material to fill up the truck to make at least one load a week,” Soehren said. “We haul five tons every time we go. It’s paying its way.”

Reach reporter Perry Backus at 363-3300 or pbackus@ravallirepublic.com.

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