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Recycling Bins for New Albany

Recycling Bins for New Albany
By Angie Barmer

The City of New Albany is starting to ’go green’ with its efforts in offering recycling to citizens in the community.
The Union County Development Association and the newly formed New Albany Recycling Committee have taken strides in getting recycling bins that will be placed in various locations throughout the city.
Both groups applied for a recycling grant through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and both received the approval to have recycling bins delivered and to put in place as soon as possible.
UCDA will receive fifty 22-gallon bins and the committee will receive forty 22-gallon bins.
The bins for UCDA are planned to be put in place at UCDA and at all of the New Albany schools. Aluminum cans will be recycled in these locations. The New Albany Recycling Committee plans to put recycling bins at the Rails to Trails Trailhead and at the New Albany Sportsplex and plan to recycle paper and plastic bottles. Walmart Supercenter offers recycling containers at the front entrances for people to recycle plastic bottles and plastic bags. 
Jean Ashcraft with speakgreenMS.org and speaking on behalf of UCDA, said, “Since Mayor Walter Johnson was the mayor of New Albany, we had been trying to get recycling started but it was never time. He had the vision of the New Albany Sportsplex and Kathryn Dye had the idea for the Park Along the River. I have lived in Columbus, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington and everybody recycled and I came home and there was no recycling.”
Micha Foster, a volunteer with UCDA for the recycling project, said, “I want to get recycling started in New Albany too. It’s important to me.”
Ashcraft said, “Recycling is just a no-brainer. It takes less money to recycle than it does to use the natural resources to begin from scratch. And also it helps with the landfill. The process of recycling also raises your awareness.”
“Anything anybody does toward encouraging recycling, any kind of conservation of our natural resources, we should all be more aware of it. I think everybody realizes that if you want to get to the grownups, you start with the children, so if you can start with the children to get them to understand this and why it’s necessary, it’s mainly for them anyway and their kids. This isn’t going to affect us as nearly as much as it is going to affect them,” Ashcraft said. “If you go through the act of recycling, it makes you aware. If you throw everything hodgepodge into a trash can, you are not being grateful for what you have just consumed, you are just getting rid of it. It is debris, but if you recycle it, it is moving forward into something else besides a landfill.”
New Albany School Superintendent Dr. Charles Garrett said, “We are going to start with aluminum cans. If the volume isn’t there, we might try paper or plastic. The Earth contains finite resources and I think it’s just part of being a good citizen that we all learn to conserve and recycle and manage the resources.We appreciate Mrs. Ashcraft and UCDA to get these started.”
He added, “Supporting New Haven is very important and we want to do that. We hope to be a part of a recycling program when school begins next year and we would want it to be a K-12 effort. Truthfully, our youth are often times the easiest to help develop new habits. Recycling is most successful with our youngest early on.  I think they would be a big part of this project.”
The plan is that the cans that will be recycled through UCDA and the New Albany School District will go towards the New Haven School for Special Needs Adults. The goal is to collect a million cans for New Haven that will go towards a new addition.
Collett Cross, director for New Haven, said, “In 2009, we had a need for a bus and launched a campaign. We are outgrowing our building. The money we can get for recycled cans could be the seed money to provide additional space so that we can serve our current clients and have space for additional clients.”
Foster said, “I have lived in Jackson, Miss. and I lived in Oxford for two years. I recycled cardboard and cans. It was a reason to be proud of Oxford. I did it for so long and when I came home, there was no recycling. I work at Sugarees and they recycle, so I bring my recycling there.”
For more information, visit speakgreenMS.org.
The City of New Albany Recycling committee met in January to discuss plans for recycling.  Locations that were mentioned to put recycling bins are the Rails to Trails trailhead, New Albany and Union  County Schools and the New Albany Sportsplex.
The committee agreed to recycle plastic bottles and paper at these locations and talked about appointing someone to monitor the bins.
According to MDEQ, the bins that were donated from MDEQ are designed to increase the collection of recyclables including various paper products as well as aluminum, plastic, and glass containers. MDEQ, along with the Alcoa Recycling Company, the Mississippi Recycling Coalition, and the Southeast Recycling Development Council are partners in providing the grants for the bins. 
The recycling bins are being distributed beginning this week to UCDA and The New Albany Recycling Committee.
Grants were sponsored by the Alcoa Recycling Company, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Recycling Coalition, and the Southeast Recycling Development Council.

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