Committee makes plans for recycling campaign in Calhoun County

CALHOUN CITY – Now that a recycling trailer is available in the county, those interested in green issues are figuring out how to get people to use it and where the recyclables go when they do use it.
Where to empty the trailer, which is parked at the LIFT Inc. office on Shannon Street in Pittsboro, was the first hurdle a small roundtable of officials had to tackle.
“If we collect four tons of newspaper, what do we do with it? Where does it go?” Calhoun City mayor J.R. Denton asked. “If we just carry it to the landfill, it may as well go in the garbage.”
Three Rivers Solid Waste director Dan Reese, who joined in by telephone, pointed the group toward Oxford. City of Oxford Recycling, run by Amberlyn Liles, already deals with the materials that Calhoun Countians might have the opportunity to recycle: newsprint, mixed paper, light plastics and aluminum cans.
“There’s no fee to take things to Oxford,” Reese said. “You would just have to pay your transportation costs.”
Denton said the money in recycling comes from selling materials in bulk, so Oxford’s operating costs and revenue would be helped by having Calhoun County’s volume added to the Oxford-Lafayette materials.
Calhoun City Chamber of Commerce president Barbara Fox suggested that Liles could visit the county’s elementary schools to give programs on recycling and arrange visits for elementary classes to the Oxford recycling center.
With a possible place to take recyclables identified, considered what recyclables to focus on and how to educate the public about where and how to recycle.
The new recycling trailer in Pittsboro has three bays, which limits what materials can be collected.
The group noted that Calhoun City Elementary School has collected aluminum cans for several years and hauled them to a scrap metal business in a cotton trailer.
Vardaman Chamber of Commerce president Jim Blue said fourth-graders at Vardaman will participate in a project this year to collect and recycle “mixed paper,” mostly paper used in the school setting.
With another place to take cans, the recycling trailer is likely to be devoted to newsprint and light plastics, which are typically marked with either a “1″ or “2″ inside the triangular recycling symbol.
The group will soon begin an education campaign on recycling.
Reese said Three Rivers has some money left over from Household Hazardous Waste Day which could be used to purchase more recycling trailers. Calhoun County could be in line to get another trailer or even two, allowing for a trailer each in the northern and southern parts of the county; or for one in each of the three major municipalities.

Mack Spencer/Monitor-Herald