City recycling center hits $100,000 revenue goal

HARLINGEN — Eight years ago, John Avilez arrived with a goal to turn a $100,000 annual profit at the Harlingen Recycling Center.

With less than 10 days to go in this fiscal year, consider it mission accomplished.

Avilez told the Keep Harlingen Beautiful Board yesterday the recycling center where Avilez is coordinator has amassed $105,009 in revenue for the fiscal year.

“I set it eight years ago when I got here,” he said. “I’ve seen the numbers and they had come close, so I felt that by finding better prices, getting more help, I thought we could achieve that goal.

“We had a great year,” he added.

Avilez said the recycling center moved through about 2 million pounds of material this year, not only keeping trash off the streets, but turning it into money.

“We select everything, we bale it everything we can, and put it in the trailer and it’s sent to a company in McAllen, EDH,” he said.

“Basically, it’s cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines, books and plastic bags,” he added. “They’ve been real good about the price exchange every month so they’ve been paying very well, and that’s helped us.”

The recycling center is located at 1006 South Commerce Street, and entry to the facility is easy. Avilez said most people can swing by and the drop-off process takes about 30 seconds if it’s just a bag or two.

White paper is a big revenue item for the recycling center, Avilez said, but residents can also drop off aluminum cans, plastic bottles, books, newspapers and cardboard.

A full list of what is and isn’t accepted at the recycling center is found at the facility’s website at

Top recycling categories/pounds 2017

Newspaper — 160,204

Office mix — 199,392

Cardboard — 1,006,155

Magazines — 100,120

White ledger — 41,900

Books — 41,967

Steel — 22,660

Plastic No. 1 — 62,684

Plastic No. 2 (nat.) — 13,250

Plastic bags — 24,744

Plastic film — 26,039

Electronics — 46,673

* Through 11 months of fiscal year 2016-17