Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 15, 2008

From trash to treasure

Valdosta chosen for recycling grant project

VALDOSTA — Valdosta was recently selected as one of 13 communities to participate in Georgia’s “Away from Home” Recycling grant program. These recycling grants were established to help local communities promote recycling at special events.

The purpose of the “Away From Home” Recycling grant program is to assist communities to promote recycling and help meet the state’s material-specific waste disposal reduction goals. One of the primary goals of the program is to ensure recycling is offered at special events throughout the state and expose residents and visitors alike to the recycling opportunities that abound in Georgia.

Valdosta has reduced its tonnage entering the landfill by more than 12 percent for the last three years, has had curb-side recycling in place for over a decade and has participated in several large scale collaborative efforts to clean up and collect recyclables, according to Mayor John Fretti.

“The governor recognized our proactive approach and designated Valdosta as the recycling hub for an approximate 45 mile radius of our city. We recently held a regional workshop to educate the surrounding participating governments about recycling, single streaming and tonnage reduction into landfills,” Fretti said.

Unlike most grants, the “Away From Home” grant’s recipients receive the actual equipment needed to host special event collections. The grant package includes a dramatically-designed, attention-commanding trailer sporting a bald, tattooed head that reads “Recycle 4 Georgia,” which is vinyl wrapped with a unique recycling promotional message and will contain up to six recycling carts per trailer. The carts are self-contained units that transport 20 metal-framed recycling containers. The recycling trailer also comes complete with a “check-out” form for use by local governments, a special event recycling instruction manual, volunteer training and safety information, and a recycling collection reporting sheet.

“The trailers can be checked out by anyone, at no charge, holding any type of community event, not just corporations and school functions,” said Public Works Foreman Anthony Musgrove. “We bring the trailer out and give them bags and set up everything. That in itself is an incentive. This type of free program can help keep some of the recyclables as trash out of the landfills.”

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