Athens- Clarke County is a busy town that generates a lot of trash, and to combat the growing waste problem the Athens Clarke County website shows that the county has created its very own recycling and waste reduction division found within the Department of Solid Waste Management to tackle the overwhelming solid waste conflict that occurs. But, this department seems to be falling short when it comes to recycling. Citizens all around Athens are finding it more and more difficult to responsibly dispose of recyclable materials.
Meleah Shaw, a student living in a downtown apartment, says that her and her roommates try to recycle but it is frustrating since their complex no longer takes their recyclable items for them.
Shaw says, “We used to have recycling bins on each floor that I used, but since those were removed last year, I don’t have the time to take a bin all the way to a recycling site”.
Many apartment complexes, such as Fred’s Historic properties in downtown Athens claim that not enough people are willing to recycle for them to exhaust the resources to collect recycling bins. The Fred’s Historic Properties company owns a number of apartments and lofts found in downtown Athens. While the company does cover the cost of their tenants trash collection, they no longer provide a bin for recycling.
When called and question about the incident of removing the recycling bins, The Fred’s leasing company claims that last year they had a problem with people constantly filling the recycling bin with un-recyclable trash, causing more harm than good. Therefor, they removed the bins and no longer provide recycling services to the properties inhabitants.
Recycling and reusing is a must whether you are a student at UGA or just a citizen of Athens- Clarke County. Here is a video from the Athens-Clarke County Waste Management Department explaining items you can and cannot recycle:
A small survey conducted asking 80 students if they recycled in their households. The households included students living in Athens in homes and apartment complexes. Here is a graphic showing the results of the poll:
While most claim they recycle, some claim they do not want to pay extra for recycling so they just do not participate. Some students shared that they live in apartment complexes that do not offer recycling. This leads to students having to drive their recycled materials to one of the 10 recycling sites found around Athens. Find which site is closest to you here: http://bit.ly/2hs64Ak
In 2010 a waste reduction policy was put in place to reduce the total amount of landfill disposal waste by 75% by 2020. Check out this audio-less video made from the local area for more information on the policy:
Days and even weeks go into strategically planning reduction goals and cleanups for events around Athens- Clarke County. Marilyn Primovis discusses the three says spent preparing and cleaning up after these football game weekends. http://envtjour.uga.edu/not-your-momma/
The solid waste department has an organization called Rivers Alive that puts together a large- group effort cleanup event each year. The events have contests, door prizes and an estimated 25,000 volunteers that show up to help gather trash. Here is a link to more information about this years event and also events in the future. https://athensclarkecounty.com/1381/Rivers-Alive
Outside of the downtown apartments, you can find the streets lined with green cans to encourage the recycling of everyday small items.
If you are interested in keeping up with all the ACC recycling events and opportunities to help keep Athens clean, you can sign up for the ACORN(Athens-Clarke County Opportunities and Resource Newsletter) monthly e-newsletter here: http://bit.ly/2z1R5Zv