Ge­or­gia go­ing green

Ex­panded re­cy­cling pro­grams aim to re­duce car­bon foot­print

The Covington News - - Business - NHI HO nho@cov­news.com

In a press con­fer­ence, At­lanta Mayor Kasim Reed hopes that an ef­fort to ex­pand the curb­side re­cy­cling pro­gram in At­lanta makes not only the city of At­lanta greener but trans­forms the state of Ge­or­gia into the lead­ing state in the na­tion with the small­est car­bon foot­print.

Cur­rently, At­lanta res­i­dents who opt to par­tic­i­pate in the re­cy­cling pro­gram have an 18-gal­lon bin that they use for their re­cy­clable which gets picked up along with their curb­side trash cans.

The ex­panded re­cy­cling pro­gram will in­clude re­plac­ing the 18-gal­lon bins with 96-gal­lon carts.

“One of my goals as mayor is to see At­lanta be­come a top tier city for sus­tain­abil­ity,” said Mayor Reed at the press con­fer­ence. “Re­cy­cling is an im­por­tant step to­wards that goal, as we make At­lanta a greener place to live, work and play. Rolling out these new large ca­pac­ity re­cy­cling carts will make it eas­ier for res­i­dents to re­cy­cle more.”

Be­gin­ning Oct. 15, the city of At­lanta will de­liver these larger ca­pac­ity re­cy­cling carts to more than 65,000 house­holds.

The city’s long-term goal to keep 90 per­cent of mu­nic­i­pal wastes out of land­fills by 2020 is part of At­lanta’s “Power to Change” sus­tain­abil­ity plan.

At­lanta res­i­dent Holly An­drozzo said she took ad­van­tage of a larger re­cy­cling cart when it was of­fered to her three years ago.

“I didn’t re­al­ize that it wasn’t of­fered to ev­ery­one [at the time], but those small re­cy­cling bins barely hold any­thing,” said An­drozzo. “And I find that I al­ways have more stuff in my re­cy­cling cart than ac­tual trash in the trash cart.”

Cur­rently, only a small frac­tion – 37 per­cent, of At­lanta res­i­dents re­cy­cle, with most waste prod­ucts end up in the land­fills. At­lanta res­i­dents gen­er­ate 96,000 tons of trash per year, which costs the city $7 mil­lion.

Aside from the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits of in­creas­ing re­cy­cling lev­els, city of­fi­cials said that boost­ing the col­lec­tion of re­cy­clables pro­duces rev­enue for the city at a rate of $30 per ton.

“The bins elim­i­nated all the ex­cuses that have been used about re­cy­cling,” said Reed re­fer­ring to the most com­mon rea­son why peo­ple don’t re­cy­cle: It’s in­con­ve­nient. I don’t know what to sep­a­rate, what to put in, what to put out.

All types of re­cy­clables can be placed into the new carts with no sort­ing re- quired. Also not re­quired is wash­ing or rins­ing the re­cy­clables be­fore plac­ing them in the carts.

Locally, in Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County, res­i­dents can also join the green move­ment by re­cy­cling rather than just throw­ing out trash and adding to the land­fills.

New­ton County res­i­dents can re­cy­cle on a vol­un­tary ba­sis and the curb­side pickup is also free. Curb­side pickup does not re­quire sort­ing, wash­ing or rins­ing.

The city of Cov­ing­ton pro­vides a 95-gal­lon trash con­tainer to each res­i­den­tial unit served. Re­cy­clables are col­lected on the same day as garbage and trash. A re­cy­cle bin is pro­vided to each res­i­dent. Items col­lected in­clude plas­tic, glass, alu­minum and tin cans, news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines.

Res­i­dents can also opt to dis­pose of re­cy­cling at neigh­bor­hood re­cy­cling cen­ters. There are 11 dif­fer­ent neigh­bor­hood re­cy­cling cen­ter lo­ca­tions throughout New­ton County, with vary­ing days and hours of op­er­a­tion.

Re­cy­cling in Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County is purely vol­un­tary; how­ever, res­i­dents are asked to re­cy­cle to help our community re­duce the amount of trash and waste go­ing into our land­fill.

Since 1990, lo­cal res­i­dents have helped re­duced waste go­ing into the New­ton County land­fill by al­most 40 per­cent.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Keep Cov­ing­ton/New­ton Beau­ti­ful at (770) 784-2015 or the Cov­ing­ton Re­cy­cling Cen­ter at (770) 385-2064 or visit co.new­ton.ga.us/con­tent/view/116/31/.

Photo il­lus­tra­tion /The Cov­ing­ton News

There are 11 dif­fer­ent neigh­bor­hood re­cy­cling cen­te­ro­ca­tions throughout New­ton County.

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