SOUTH PEKIN — The opening of a new South Pekin recycling center Thursday will benefit the environment and local economy, said a Tazewell County Board member.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains that recycling benefits communities and the environment as it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources, and reduces pollution. Pekin-based Area Recycling, a sister company of the Peoria Disposal Company, contributed to local efforts to re-purpose waste by opening a recycling processing center at 14379 Illinois Route 29.

“It is important that (future generations) see how the waste industry protects the environment,” said Royal Coulter, PDC's president and chief executive officer. “I’ve always challenged (PDC) to be a leader, and we lead by example. (The new recycling center) is one way we stay ahead of our competition.”

Following Coulter’s remarks, visitors viewed a short video that described the general importance of recycling and how the new facility processes reusable waste. According to Coulter, PDC has invested about $3.5 million in establishing the center.

Tazewell County Board chairman David Zimmerman said Area Recycling will have a positive environmental impact on Pekin and the local economy.

“I want to thank PDC for their investment in Tazewell County,” said Zimmerman. “It meets several of our goals. We want to have an investment climate that encourages businesses to come to Tazewell County. (PDC has) created jobs, and (PDC is) growing business. We’re grateful for that.”

State Sen. Dave Koehler praised the new facility at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This is just a fantastic facility,” the Peoria Democrat said. ”(PDC) is one of the most innovative companies anywhere in the Midwest and probably in that nation. This is a company that has really gone out on the edge and taken a leadership position in terms of recycling and making sure our environment is protected.”

Area Recycling is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.pdcarea.com or call (309) 353-3333.