DANVILLE – From the driver's seat, you can buy a meal, pick up a prescription, get cash, pay a bill – and now, you can drop off aluminum and other scrap metal for recycling.
Next week, Mervis Industries will open Advantage Recycling, a new 60-by-80-foot center at the corner of Henning Road and U.S. 150 west of Danville that features a covered drive-through area where people can drop off metal recyclables, including aluminum, brass, copper, scrap iron, stainless steel and batteries.
Mervis Industries already accepts such materials at its Cannon Street facility, but company officials built the new center, near Interstate 74, as a more convenient, customer-friendly site for dropping off materials.
Mike Menges, who has been with Mervis Industries for almost 20 years and will manage Advantage Recycling, said it will be a great facility for customers who aren't as comfortable with the current drop-off site on Cannon Street because of the heavy truck traffic and other equipment that moves in the scrap yard.
"I'm looking forward to it," Menges said of the center's opening, which will be on Tuesday, Earth Day.
Candy Underhill of Mervis Industries said the new site is geared more toward the individual.
"It's just a location that's going to be easier for the people to use," she said.
Mervis Industries, which recycles lots of material from industrial customers, has seen an increase in the number of individuals recycling, Underhill said.
There have been collectors of scrap metal forever in this area, she said, and they continue to collect, but the number of average people who want to get involved in recycling is "just increasing dramatically and this should make it easier for everyone."
A ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. Tuesday will begin the center's first day of business.
Initially, Advantage Recycling will employ two people, but Underhill said that should expand to four soon.
Underhill said the center only needs a scrap recycle permit from Danville Township to operate, because no hazardous materials will be accepted. Maggie Carson with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that the center does not need a permit from the agency as long as that is the case.
Advantage Recycling also will run a program, called "Advantage Community Rewards," to benefit local nonprofit organizations dedicated to children or education.
Each month, donations will go to a different nonprofit as determined by the company, Underhill said.
When people drop off recyclable material, they will can donate their proceeds to that month's charity, and Mervis Industries will kick in another 5 cents per pound.
Underhill said the Boys and Girls Club of Danville has already been chosen as the nonprofit beneficiary for the first month of business, because it meets both criteria, children and education.
Although Mervis Industries does recycle plastic, Advantage Recycling will not be accepting plastic, paper or cardboard products at this facility, Underhill said, but in the future, the center may expand to accept other materials for recycling.