UPDATE: Kalkaska County Recycling Center Destroyed, But Service Plans to Keep Going

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment destroyed when the Kalkaska County recycling center burned Thursday night.

Today, the steel frame is all that remains.

At the scene — crews were greeted by heavy smoke, and raging flames.

The Kalkaska County Recycling Center caught on fire just before 8 Thursday night.

The fire chief believes the fire may have started in the office.

As you can see the building is filled with soot, debris is littering the ground and part of the roof is sagging.

The building and equipment are total losses.

The people of Kalkaska County say this news is hard to take.

The supervisor says it’s a tough loss, but wants to put energy toward solving the problem.

“With the way it happened, under the circumstances, it’s not really gonna help to dwell on (it),” said center supervisor Josh Hoppe.

Hoppe says everything happened so fast.

Now he’s trying to wrap his mind around the fact that his main recycling building — and much of the equipment — is gone.

“I never would have expected that to happen — first just trying to run through my brain everything that might have caused such a thing,” he said.

The fire department doesn’t know what caused this fire to spark.

They’re planning to investigate further next week when warmer weather thaws the building and debris.

“Everything’s gone. All of the compressors are probably destroyed. If there was enough heat in there to bend the steel roof then it’s pretty darn hot. Nothing’s gonna withstand that heat,” said the Lincoln Twp. Fire Chief Derek Hogerheide.

Hoppe is working on a plan now to get their services back on track.

And later, rebuild.

“Definitely a very unfortunate loss to lose our primary building but we do have other buildings that we are going to be utilizing more for recycling this coming week,” he said.

“Recycling’s an important part of our society these days. I think there’s a lot of people who recycle. I would encourage people not to give up on it,” Hogerheide said.

Hoppe says they are trying to re-open on Tuesday in a separate building on site.