Recycling efforts kick off
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Five hundred ninety pounds of office paper, newspaper and cardboard were carted from the District IV Human Resources Development Council office Thursday to Pacific Steel & Recycling.
The collection was the first under a grant received from Recycle Hi-Line for recycling education in the area.
Tom Tucker, a member of Recycle Hi-Line who is working on the grant, said the goal is to get people thinking about the environmental and financial benefits of recycling.
The focus was placed on paper because it constitutes 30 to 40 percent of the volume in a landfill, he said.
Recycling is the environmental side, but also impacts finances.
"That's trying to keep the cost of operating the landfill down, which has a direct effect on everybody" who pays for its operations, Tucker said.
On average, an office worker in the
U. S. uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, translating to a total of 2 pounds of paper and cardboard products. Each ton of recovered paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, Tucker said, meaning a longer life span for the landfill.
Reducing and reusing have financial benefits, as well, Tucker said.
Reducing the amount of paper used means less needs to be purchased and can also save on ink use, he said.
HRDC o f f i c e s, a l o n g wi t h Opportunity Link Inc. offices, are the first to recycle under the grant, Tucker said he hopes that the interest spreads.
Hill County offices are signing on, too, with the Commission setting bins on the second floor of the courthouse.
Commissioner Kathy Bessette said she recycles at home, and it's a good idea to bring that practice to the office.
"I just know how much I can put back into the system instead of putting it into the landfill," she said.
Similarly to the system in place at the HRDC building, paper will be collected in desk-side bins in the courthouse and then stored in larger containers until enough has been gathered for a load to a recycling center.
"We're thinking we'll have to go, hopefully, once a week," Bessette said.
Once people get used to the idea of recycling, Bessette said, the goal is to get the rest of the building employees on-board.
The Hill County Health Department has already been recycling.
"You know, I don't think it's really any harder than what you're already doing," Public Health Nurse Bridget Kallenberger said.
She makes it easy to remember to recycle paper and cardboard by bringing treats for people who don't have any recyclables in their garbage bins.
"So that has helped," she said, laughingly.
"And I think it's just getting in the mindset," she added.
For more information about recycling, Tucker can be reached at [email protected] recyclehiline.org.