Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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PRIDEful Recycler Workshop

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More than 150 people, many of them local government officials, gathered in Corbin on June 28, 2011, to discuss expanding recycling to the advantage of southern and eastern Kentucky.

The workshop kicked off PRIDE’s new environmental awareness campaign, entitled How To Be a PRIDEful Recycler.

“When General Bickford and I co-founded PRIDE 14 years ago, we realized it would require a large, regional team of dedicated volunteers to be successful,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who gave the keynote address. “Since 1997, you have far surpassed our vision. Hillsides covered with old appliances and creek beds lined with old tires are finally becoming a thing of the past.”

“Now, we must take it to the next level and focus on recycling,” Rogers continued. “We need to share ideas among communities where recycling is already successful and incorporate those across county boundaries. So far, PRIDE is responsible for recycling 188,689 individual appliances since 1997, because PRIDE required them to be properly disposed.”

“Any group that wants to explore recycling can call us, toll free, at 888-577-4339,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson. “We will arrange a presentation about why and how to be a PRIDEful Recycler and provide recycling start-up kits for your audience. You may be surprised by how simply you can make a big difference for our economy and environment just by recycling.”

The workshop was held at Whayne Supply Company, which is sponsoring the How To Be a PRIDEful Recycler campaign and operates an extensive recycling and reuse program. Workshop participants toured the facility to observe how the company refurbishes materials to save money and resources, as well as to provide equipment that is in short supply in the current global market.

The economic and environmental benefits of recycling were outlined by Tom Heil, environmental scientist with the state’s Recycling Assistance Section.

Recycling creates jobs and provides a domestic supply of inputs for manufacturing, for example. Making products with recycled materials requires less energy than using raw materials, and it conserves natural resources.

Heil also outlined how to establish recycling programs in schools, businesses and communities. Heil’s agency provides assistance to all three groups and offers grants to schools and communities.

Recycling programs already flourish in the region, and representatives highlighted some of them.

Jackson County Judge-Executive William Smith said that recycling is succeeding in his county, which has one of the smallest populations in the region.

Randal Napier presented the recycling program operated by the Corbin Campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

Steve Edge of the London Recycling Center spoke about how to involve schools. The recycling center provides dumpsters at the county’s elementary, middle and high schools, as well as East Bernstadt Independent. Since October 2008, these schools have recycled a total of 711,873 pounds and earned a total of $14,226.35.

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