Scout’s ‘green’ project gets boost from Advanced Disposal

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Linden Girl Scout received a helping hand in her quest to turn her hometown green. Advanced Disposal has donated 15 recycle bins to Hillary Dukes, a Marengo Academy senior, so she can place them throughout the city in an effort to bolster recycling.

Dukes developed her plan as a project to earn a Girl Scout Gold Award.

Dukes’ vision is for recycling bins to be placed at enough locations that people are encouraged to bring their household items for recycling.

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She plans to place the bins, along with eight she has obtained herself, at the schools and make them available to Linden businesses.

Mike Wilson, district manager for Advanced Disposal, said the containers are 96-gallon bins.

“Kudos to Hillary,” said Wilson. “I don’t see a lot of recycling problems in cities the size of Linden, and I rarely see a student take on this much initiative to turn their city green.”

Wilson said he is also trying to help Dukes find a hauler to take the goods to a recycling center.

“I am very excited about the donation. Everyone has been very supportive and behind this project. They really want to see it happen,” said Dukes. “They tried a year or two ago, but couldn’t get it to work. Now, everything seems to be falling into place.”

“Advanced Disposal is an excellent corporate citizen, and Mike Wilson is more than accommodating,” said Linden Mayor Mitzi Gates. “We merely mentioned Hillary’s Gold Award Project (recycling), and Mike’s wheels started turning. He was determined to help in a tangible way even though Advanced doesn’t offer recycling services in Linden yet.”

Dukes’ plan is to get the schools green by placing the recycling bins on the campuses at the all Linden schools and Marengo Academy. The next step would be to place bins throughout the city and follow that with a public education campaign.

“I think it will make people more aware of what is happening to the environment and how bad it is going to get if we don’t start recycling now,” Dukes said about the impact she hopes her project would have on Linden. “If we start teaching green concepts now, it will make a huge difference in the future. Somebody has to start now.”

The EPA estimates commercial and residential rubbish in the United States amounts to about 207 million tons a year. Much of this material can be recycled, keeping it out of landfills.

“Even little things people do in their day-to-day lives can make a big difference,” said Dukes. “Not using aerosol sprays, conserving water, and being conscious of what items can be recycled and putting them aside to be recycled make a lot bigger impact than most people realize.”