Originally Published: July 7, 2007 7:43 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Cindy Hopkins sees five or six dead refrigerators a month.
Hopkins is an operations supervisor at the Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity's ReStore (formerly known as habitat's home supply store) where old the appliances sit and collect dust until someone figures out what to do with them.
The problem with the old iceboxes is the roughly $50 a pop it costs to drain out the freon before the refrigerator is properly
Hopkins said the refrigerators normally sit on the lot until someone figures out their fate.
That's where Joseph Mattera comes in.
Mattera, owner of Mattera Enterprises Recycling Inc. in Dewey, takes the refrigerators away, draining the freon before he properly disposes of them.
And that's a great benefit for Hopkins.
"We make anywhere from $50 to $150 a week (on recycling)," she said. "What we're saving is even more."
Mattera collects the abundant cardboard people filled with donations, the electronic waste, metals and appliances that others no longer need on a weekly basis.
"What they provide for us is full-service recycling," she said.
Jack Rose has a similar arrangement with
Rose, owner of Arizona Seamless Gutters in Prescott, said city crews would visit Rose's business three times a week to empty a dumpster.
"The only thing the city is getting from me now is soft trash," he said.
Mattera met with Rose earlier this year and Mattera is taking care of Rose's recycling needs.
"The plus to me is I don't have to pay the city for garbage disposal and he provided me a container for scrap aluminum," he said. "I have no labor into it."
Rose estimates that he's saving about $1,200 annually in garbage costs and labor savings.
His garbage bill went from about $160 to roughly $35 monthly.
It's relationships like these with local businesses that has Mattera expanding his business.
Mattera has a recycling center in Dewey and he's opening a satellite location in Prescott Valley catering to the residential and business recycling needs of a growing community.
"We want to target everybody," he said. "We want to make it as easy as possible."
And Mattera's volume has grown to 300 tons to 400 tons a month pretty much across the board.
"The more volume, the better everything is," he said.
The monetary savings are minimal for the businesses, but they acknowledge their role in the recycling movement.
"It's the right thing to do, Hopkins said. "Instead of throwing it into a landfill, we're able to recycle it."