Linden recycling plan gets under way

Published 11:10 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Girl Scout trying to Linden “green” came face-to-face with Advanced Disposal officials who are helping make a her dream a reality.

The waste disposal company 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.

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Dukes met with Advance Disposal general manager Mike Wilson, municipal market developer Rory Cassedy and the site manager for Advance Disposal’s facility in Linden, Cory Cooper.

“Their help has helped lift this project so much,” said Dukes. “I plan to begin placing the next week.”

Wilson said the containers are 96-gallon bins.

“We are very excited to see a teenager take this much initiative helping her community ‘go green,’” said Wilson. “We are glad and proud to help in the project.”

Advanced Disposal operates 48 facilities throughout the Southeast. It services Marengo County, including Demopolis and Linden, Choctaw County and Thomasville from their Linden office.

Dukes’ plan is to work towards getting the schools to “go green” by placing recycling bins on the campuses at the Linden schools and Marengo Academy. The next step would be to get the city to place bins in the city and follow it up with a public education campaign.

“We need to create some fliers and brochures letting people know about the bins: what you can put in them and what you can’t,” said Dukes. “We will be able to accept paper, plastic and aluminum.”

Once the containers are filled, the recyclable items must be hauled to a recycling center. Dukes told Wilson she is looking to a center at Tuscaloosa, but it was still being discussed how best to transport them items from Linden to be recycled.

“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,” said Dukes about the impact she hopes her project would have on Linden.

Since forming the idea this summer, Dukes has become very recycling conscious at home.

“My house is full of aluminum cans, plastic bottles, pop tabs, boxes, bags and jars full of everything recyclable at my house,” she said. “My grandmother does, and so has my neighbors. We’ve been waiting to get this started. If I see pop tabs on the parking lot at school, I’ll pick them up and put them in my purse to recycle. People that don’t recycle do not realize how much stuff they use in their everyday lives that can be recycled.”

“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.”

The Environmental Protection Agency 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.