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Ozark recycling programs continue growth - Dothan Eagle: News

Ozark recycling programs continue growth

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Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013 4:11 pm

OZARK — A recycling program through the City of Ozark and another at a local business have continued to expand as residents gain more interest in recycling what they can of their garbage.

Business officials said an estimated ton of recyclables from local businesses, residences and schools is sorted daily at The Closet & Beyond Thrift Shop and Recycling Center in Ozark. According to owner Gwen Katzenbach, the company recycles cardboard, aluminum cans, used clothes, plastics and other items from residents throughout Dale County.

Katzenbach said recycled items that can be sold are set up in the thrift shop of the business, while other items are transported to Waste Management.

She said discussions are underway to purchase scales so that people can be paid for the aluminum cans they recycle, while the company also hopes to recycle glass in the next year.

“We all know that the landfills are filling up and while we may be OK now, I don’t feel like in 10 years, or even five years, we will be if we don’t continue to recycle,” she said.

“Our vision is to expand, expand, expand and get rid of all the garbage. This is the world our children and our grandchildren will have to live in.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 34.1 percent of trash was recycled through municipalities three years ago, while more than 50 percent was placed in landfills.

According to City of Ozark Public Works Director Steve Price, an average 150 customers are added to the city’s voluntary curbside recycling program each year.

Price said the nearly 18-year-old program costs the city an estimated $65,000 to $70,000 a year. The recycling is transported to Waste Management.

Gene Glass, a worker at The Closet, said recycling programs give residents an opportunity to impact the future.

“If it’s recycled, (the garbage) ain’t going in the dump,” he said. “That’s reason enough to do it.”

Of waste,

54.2 percent goes to landfill

34.1 percent recycled or composted

11.7 percent composted for energy

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

 

Benefits of Recycling

Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators

Conserves natural resources like timber, water and minerals

Prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to collect new raw materials

Saves energy

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change

Helps sustain the environment for future generations

Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

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