It’s Friday morning, the sun is shining (which is noteworthy considering) and Morris Necklaus never slows down at the Recycling for Scottsboro building.
Necklaus will soon walk away from the recycling business, not because he really wants to, but because he has to. For the really rich, losing money might be a good thing. For most, though, it is not.
Necklaus has spent his life working for TVA. One time, years ago, he got laid off and wound up getting into the recycling business in Athens, where he worked for the city. Later, he was called back to TVA, where he still remains, teaching about nuclear, he says.
On this Friday morning, Necklaus tells me he’s out, giving it up. It’s a sad moment, he says, and proves true when you check out his Facebook page.
On it, he announces his intentions to close the business. People take the news hard, commenting on the post.
Necklaus opened the business in June 2006. It wasn’t easy. The Scottsboro City Council had to approve it. Another company offered a proposal that included paying the city $1,000 per month.
Necklaus wanted to rent the city’s old baler building, off Highway 72 for $1 per year. Looking back through old stories it was clear it was a heated deal between city council members.
In the end, Necklaus got it, with a 3-2 vote. And, for the next 14 years, he’s worked hard, helping local businesses get rid of recyclables and keeping them out of the landfill.
As one comment said on his Facebook post, “what are we going to do now?”
You can’t blame Necklaus. He said, out of the 14 years in business, he made a profit maybe three or four times. He lost $11,000 last year and is already down over $4,000 this year.
He said he’s tired of losing money. You can’t blame him. Recyclables, Necklaus said, just don’t bring in the money they once did.
He watches the market each day and gets a little sicker and sicker.
His business has been an asset to the area. The loss is not a good thing. He plans to be shut down by early June.
As Necklaus talks, a cat goes by. He said there are five here that just came up. He’s adopted them, more or less.
“I’m worried about the cats,” he says.
DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.