The City of Frankfort and its Street Department took time on Friday to honor Russ Anderson for his longtime service to the department and his large role in the city’s recycling program. From Friday forward, the recycling building at 905 Burlington Ave. will be known as the Russ Anderson Recycling Center.
Originally hired by former Mayor Mary Jane McMcahon, Anderson worked for the street department from Aug. 1, 1983 until June 30, 2015 and played a key role in building the recycling program and recycling building.
City of Frankfort Street Department Superintendent Jason Forsythe and Mayor Judy Sheets spoke during Friday afternoon’s dedication ceremony. Anderson was presented with a plaque created by Ellis Jewelry, and the department unveiled the new Russ Anderson Recycling Center sign.
“It is a total surprise,” Anderson said. “I think it is a great honor.”
Anderson recalled helping start the city’s recycling program in the 1980s.
“There were six of us who made a trip to Laporte, learned from their operation and brought it back here,” he said. “When we came back, we talked about how we were going to do it, and we decided we better have a building before we started to do it. So, there were three of us who built the recycle barn, and I am glad it is where it is at today.
“It is amazing what you can keep out of the landfill,” Anderson continued. “When I was doing the recycle barn, we were saving so much tonnage from going to the landfill. When I retired, every 10 days we were shipping a semi-load of recycles out.”
Forsythe was glad to join Mayor Sheets in presenting Anderson with a plaque which read, “Presented to Russ Anderson. In appreciation for your 32 years of service to the City of Frankfort. We thank you for your positive attitude, your work ethic and your dedication to the Frankfort Recycling Center.”
“Thirty-three years is a long time to spend here in the first place,” Forsythe said. “Russ brings a lot of joy to a lot of people outside this facility. He used to stop in at the fire station and have coffee with the guys in the morning on his own break, and the guys always enjoyed that. He always had one or two jokes to tell you, and they were always good, clean jokes.
“He is a hardworking guy,” Forsythe added. “Our program wouldn’t have started if it wasn’t for Russ. One-point-three million pounds of recycle not going to the landfill – this guy has a lot to do with that. Just the kind of person he is and the kind of work ethic he had and obviously his years of service – he deserves it. We are going to be happy to put that sign on the outside of the building for a long time.”