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Recycling worth the effort
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Well, don’t you feel lighter, Liberty County?  I wish it was as easy to “reduce” personally as it is to “reduce” as a community.
This past week by working together we reduced more than 15 tons of hazardous waste that would have gone in a landfill.
We want to thank everyone who made an effort to bring items to recycle or reuse at the Recycle It! Fair and the Old Tire Roundup.
So many of the items collected— electronics, paint, household batteries, car batteries, motor fluids, cell phones, tires, etc — generate the most toxins in landfills as well as take up a tremendous amount of needed landfill space.
These items, as well as plastic bottles, aluminum cans, clothing and furniture, can be recycled and used in other ways that can save on production, energy and supply costs. That is good for industry and good for all of us.
Thanks again to the service organizations, agencies and businesses that participated in the Recycle It! Fair on Saturday. Please do not forget these groups are collecting items for recycling every day and could use your ongoing support.
They include:
• The Hinesville and Lake George fire departments collect aluminum cans.
• Coastal Auto and Recycling on Oglethorpe Highway makes a business of collecting car batteries, motor fluids and scrap metal.
• Used motor fluids and car batteries can often be recycled at such places as auto stores and businesses.
• Millions of new cell phones are purchased each year.  Please consider turning in your old cell phones to either the United Way or TriCounty Protective Agency.
• Goodwill Industries can accept a number of electronics for recycling. They collected a thousand pounds of these types of items in just a few hours on Saturday. During the electronics recycling collection in March, we collected 8.5 tons of items for recycling. We plan to have regular collection events to get as many of these computers, stereos, etc. as we can.
• Clothing, furniture and household goods (in good condition) can be reused and redistributed to those in need in our community by The Manna House, TriCounty Protective Agency and Goodwill Industries.
• Cars for Kidneys, Coastal Auto and Recycling, and Goodwill Industries all accept titles for junk or old cars. Although Goodwill can only accept operable cars in Liberty County, Cars for Kidneys and Coastal Auto will work with the owner to pick up any cars donated. I think we all know this is a much better solution for “deceased” cars than junking up yards and creating eyesores in our community.
• The Manna House collects food for local families in need.
• The Kiwanis Club accepts ink cartridges to recycle to raise funds for services for children in our community.
• Young Adult Liberty Leaders have been leading a recycling effort for plastic bottles in conjunction with the national Students for Recycling project that continues through May 31. Of course, these containers can always be deposited for recycling at any of our community recycling drop-off sites.
• We collected 11.71 tons of scrap tires in the three-day Old Tire Roundup. These tires are being processed for recycling — a much better and legal — alternative than throwing them in local ditches and streams. Tires can also be turned in to the store where they were originally purchased. Let’s all make sure we are disposing of these tires responsibly.
• We also accepted household batteries.  Lowes has a collection point for batteries on an ongoing basis. We also collected 289 cans of household paint.
• We are providing all of these cans with usable paint to the Habitat for Humanity Store in Statesboro for reuse. We are planning more options for recycling household hazardous wastes like paint, batteries, etc. through recurring collection events and locations so it will be easier for all of us to dispose of these items responsibly.
Thanks to Dot Moss, Barbara Minchey, Mary Beth Evans, Jim Blankenship, Michael Trombley, the YMCA and all the guys with the Liberty County Solid Waste Department for their help with exhibits, collection, and refreshments for the roundup and the fair.  
As the 2007 Great American Cleanup is winding down in the next couple of weeks, I am keenly aware of how helpful local volunteers are in making all of these cleanups and events possible throughout the year.
Our community owes a debt of gratitude to all the volunteers who consistently come out to make our community better. Thanks to all of you for what you do.
Remember, the Young Adult Liberty Leaders and local schools are collecting plastic bottles (soda and water type bottles) for the Students for Recycling national recycling project through May 31.
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact me at 368-4888 or
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