Tuscaloosa Environmental Services building reopens three years a - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa Environmental Services building reopens three years after the tornado

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - The City of Tuscaloosa held a ribbon cutting this morning for the Richard A. Curry Environmental Services Building.

The facility was completely destroyed during the April 27th 2011 tornado. A 48,000 square feet plant can process all the recycling materials from all the homes in the Tuscaloosa City limits.

Aluminum cans, paper, cardboard you name it, the city of tuscaloosa is now recycling it for every house within the city limits and their doing it in the new environmental services building.

It is one of $150 million of ongoing projects the city can cross off their list.

Recovery Operations Director, Robin Edgeworth said the first message she heard after the tornado hit tuscaloosa nearly three years ago was the curry building was hit and people were trapped inside.

"I have real mixed emotions. It's kind of hard to describe. It's a very joyous occasion to be able to celebrate the building opening up. But it also brings back some memories of the day three years ago when this did happen," Edgeworth added.

Those people that were trapped were Environmental Services Director Shane Daugherty and his family. He said, "
We went down to the basement. It was probably like I said about five minutes later our ears started popping. It didn't sound like a train it sounded like a bomb going off. The building came down all around us and we were trapped in there for about thirty to forty five minutes."

When the city decided to rebuild the facility they decided not to put all their eggs in one basket and now only the Environmental Services Department is housed in the nearly 60-thousand square feet building.

The new facility allows the city to process about 10 tons of recycling a day. There is now a 24 hour recycling drop off location at the plant.

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