While it’s cool to be green, recycling is a responsible way for everyone to take care of the environment, said Rutherford County’s environmental education coordinator Mimi Davis Keisling.
Recycling needs to become more than trendy, says Mimi Keisling.
Becoming green has become trendy, but Keisling hopes recycling will become a lifestyle choice to reduce landfill waste and to reuse waste.
“I think a lot of people think that environmental issues don’t really touch their lives,” Keisling said. “Everyone has a responsibility to do their part. Recycling to reduce the waste that goes to landfill is something where everyone can participate.”
Specifically, Rutherford County’s Middle Point Landfill has become a regional repository of waste, taking in more than one million tons of trash in 2006 alone, according to Middle Point’s parent company Allied Waste Industries.
Middle Point opened in 1988 in the Walter Hill community to replace the county’s aging landfill.
Included in the waste stream was low-level radioactive waste from Tennessee’s Bulk Survey for Release program, which Middle Point voluntarily opted out of last year, after public outcry against dumping the waste so close to the county’s water supply.
One simple way to reduce the amount of trash going into Middle Point and to protect the Stones River is to recycle.
“I just think that everybody needs to recycle,” Keisling said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Rutherford County residents can recycle electronics such as computers, monitors, the computer mouse and accessories and televisions during an eWaste Roundup Saturday, Sept. 13.
Also, residents may rid their houses of hazardous materials such as oil-based paint, insecticides, pesticides and other items during the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Nov. 15.
Locations for the roundup and collection will be announced later. The collections used to be held at Old Fort Park but the site is being used for new tennis courts.
To help promote the roundup and collection, Keisling listed the Top 10 recycling tips for The Murfreesboro Post (actually 11 because we try harder):
1. Recycling is basically making something new out of something old.
2. The first reason to recycle is that recycling saves valuable natural resources. The earth has renewable natural resources such as plants and trees. The earth also has non-renewable natural resources such as copper, silver, steel, aluminum, gold, silver, etc.
3. The second reason to recycle is recycling extends the life of landfills. Landfills are quickly being filled to capacity because of the high volume of trash that’s being deposited. As landfills reach capacity other land must be taken for landfill purposes.
4. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reports the state generates over 13 million tons of solid waste annually, an average of approximately 2.3 tons per person. Aluminum beverage cans and steel food cans may be recycled. Please crush cans to save space in the recycling bin to allow more cans to be hauled at one time to the recycling center.
5. Rutherford County recycling and convenience centers accept most all forms of mixed paper except laminated paper and photographs. Paper that CAN be included is office paper, school paper, newspapers, magazines, construction paper, etc. Both magazines and newspaper, however, may also be separated and placed in specifically marked bins for recycling, as well.
6. Glass is accepted at only four locations in Rutherford County: the two Kroger stores in Smyrna, Sam’s Club in Murfreesboro and the county recycling site at 1140 Haley Road in Murfreesboro.
7. Cardboard should be broken down before placing in the recycling bins. This saves space and allows more cardboard to be hauled to the recycling center at one time. Include any type of corrugated cardboard, clean pizza boxes, cereal and other food boxes.
8. Rutherford County accepts plastics labeled with numbers one through seven. The number is located on the bottom of the container inside a recycling symbol. This numbering system helps to separate plastics into different categories based on the resins used to make the plastic. This assists in getting the correct type of plastic for re-manufacturing.
9. By making recycling a daily habit it’s easy to accomplish. Simply designate one or more containers in your home or garage to collect recyclable items. Rinse containers that held food or beverages, flatten boxes, and crush steel and aluminum cans. Make frequent trips to the recycling or convenience center, or contact a curbside recycling company to make the collection at your home for a minimal fee.
10. Oil used in lawnmowers and cars must be disposed of properly. Oil may be recycled at most vehicle oil-changing businesses or at the city of Murfreesboro recycling center on West Main Street beside Room in the Inn. Latex paint can be sent to the landfill if it’s dried. People may dry leftover paint by adding wood chips or kitty litter to the can. Also, a small amount of paint may be spread on cardboard, dried and disposed of at the landfill.
11. Fluorescent light bulbs and batteries other than alkaline batteries can’t be disposed of in the trash. Both fluorescent light bulbs and batteries may be recycled at the Household Hazardous Materials collection.
For more information about recycling, Keisling recommended: http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html or http://www.epa.gov/garbage/recycle.htm. Information about places to recycle in Rutherford County may be found at www.recyclerutherford.org.