It’s been a long time since residents of this area have had an opportunity to put recyclable items such as plastic and glass somewhere other than their trash containers. A local committee is working to make that service available once again.
A recycling drop-off this Saturday is the latest effort of that committee, which is continuing to look into make recycling a common and regular practice in this area.
That committee – which includes staff members at the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District and Fayette County Extension, Mary Fulton, Renee Willms and John Sanders – has been working for several months on the recycling issue.
The committee organized a Saturday collection for electronic items, and followed that up by holding a weekly collection for such things as computer equipment, cameras, clocks and televisions. Those items are accepted from 1-5 p.m. each Wednesday in the parking lot of the SWCD office at Third and Johnson streets in Vandalia.
This Saturday, from 9 a.m.-noon, the committee is hosting a collection for newspapers, magazines, office paper and other types of paper and cardboard in the Old Capitol Shopping Center parking lot at the corner of Third and Gallatin streets in Vandalia.
Karen Sanders of the SWCD said that for Saturday’s collection, newspapers should be put in paper bags or tied in bundles, and that all cardboard should be broken down into flat pieces.
Local supporters of the committee’s work, Harmon’s Market, Wal-Mart and Sonic, have joined in Saturday’s collection drive by donating reusable recycling bags and gift certificates, as a way of helping to induce area residents to begin recycling items that they currently discard.
While it works to set up Saturday’s event, Sanders said, the committee is also working with a Mt. Vernon woman who is donating the use of a tractor and trailer to haul off the items collected.
That woman has also agreed to leave recycling collection containers with the committee and to pick up those containers when they are filled, Sanders said, adding that the woman is trying to establish a collection setup for glass.
“We want to work with the city on getting a place where we can put the boxes, and the city seems interested in working with us,” she said.
While it continues to offer the electronic recycling on a regular basis and is working on doing the same thing for paper and plastic, the local recycling committee has been looking into a way for local residents to recycle white items such as refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances.
The reason for forming a recycling committee was simple, Sanders said.
“We’re tired of our landfills getting filled up (with recyclable items),” she said.
“We want something better for our children and grandchildren,” she said. “We’re looking out for future generations.”
The work of one committee member, she said, exemplifies what this recycling effort is all about.
John Sanders, a minister who lives in the northwest corner of Fayette County, is going around to local businesses and picking up paper that can be recycled, then taking that paper to a recycling business, Karen Sanders said.
“He gives the proceeds to the youth group at his church,” she said. “That helps the youth group, and it also helps to show the youth the benefits of recycling. By collecting these items and showing them to the children, he shows how they can help to keep recyclable items from going into our landfills.”