Change is Coming – Notes For Responsible Recycling

By: Lynne Hart

KALB and our Athens-Limestone Recycling Center appreciate responsible recyclers! If you are one, please accept our sincere “Thank you” for taking the time not only to recycle but to recycle correctly.

For those who are not sure if you are recycling correctly, here are a few examples:

  • Educating yourself so you know what is and is not accepted for recycling locally. You can do that by visiting and clicking on the Recycling tab, or calling the center at 256-233-8746.
  • Taking time to read the labels on the recycling bins or on the recycling trailers and using them correctly.
  • Checking both sides of the community collection trailers for appropriate compartments.
  • Bringing large recyclable items, such as grills, metal bed frames, electronics, etc., to the center on Lucas Ferry Rd. and not leaving them piled up at the community collection center trailers.
  • Making an effort to recycle only #1 and #2 plastics.

If you do all the above, we appreciate you! If you are making an effort to learn the recycling ropes, we appreciate you, too.

Plastics Overflow

Ruby McCartney, Recycling Center Plant Manager, is aware that the plastics compartments on the community collection center trailers and bins at the recycling center fill up quickly and sometime overflow. In an effort to correct this problem, changes are being made. Bins and compartments are being cleaned, painted and relabeled to allow for more room for plastics.

We very much appreciate all who are careful to recycle #1 and #2 plastics only. We currently DO NOT accept plastics #3-7. Often these non-recyclable plastics along with other items, such as pool liners, vinyl, Styrofoam/plastic coolers, and molded plastics, take up precious space.

This also causes additional labor and expense to the center as these items have to be sorted out and discarded. Because of this, the center’s dumpster has to be emptied every single day. These dumpster costs add up to about $6,000 per year! This is precious funding that could be used to upgrade our facility and equipment, and is a totally unnecessary expense when most could be placed in someone’s household trash can.

Please Be Aware

When recycling at the center on Lucas Ferry Rd. or one of the Community Collection Centers located at schools and other locations across the county, please be aware that compartment labels will change. Please take time to check the signs on each bin or compartment to be sure you are recycling the correct items in the correct bins/compartments.

It’s pretty amazing how many people come into our recycling center and ask if we would take their items, knowing they are not on the list of accepted items. For example, a gentleman came into the center one day and said, “I know your sign says you don’t accept paint, but I have these nearly full cans of paint. Will you take them?” When told that we do not accept any paint, the man’s reply was, “Well what do you want me to do with them?” My questions would be, “What do you want us to do with them?”

Please do not use the recycling center to get rid of items you don’t know what to do with. If you have questions on how to get rid of certain items, contact KALB. The answer, in some cases, is to wait until the city and county provide a household hazardous waste collection, but in other cases such as with latex paint, there are ways for you to dispose of it properly.

Final Thoughts

KALB and the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center staff are grateful to all who take the time to recycle. We extend a HUGE thank you to all who take time to recycle the right way.
Recycling is important to protecting our local and global environment. It is the right thing to do. We are making a positive impact, thanks to the many responsible recyclers in Athens and Limestone County. Future generations are counting on us.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful