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January 17, 2014

Recycling on the rise

In 2013, Corbin’s totals up in all categories

CORBIN — Those who work at Corbin Recycling say they have a goal for 2014 — “Helping recycling grow.”

From the looks of things, they had a banner year in 2013, with across-the-board increases in six recycling categories.

The total recycled in Corbin last year came up to 877.6 tons, to be exact.

Director Steve Mills feels the combination of people, businesses and organizations in the city who are recycling, combined with new equipment and a special program the recycling center had last year, made the rise in recycling a reality.

He added it all stacks up.

“Are people paying more attention to recycling than before? I think so. Our volume has picked up tremendously, and people are more conscious of it. It’s also cutting down on their garbage bills. The more they can recycle, the less garbage goes into the landfill,” Mills said Thursday.

How did recycling go for Corbin in 2013?

Mills crunched the numbers for you.

First, a total of 613.5 tons of cardboard was recycled last year. He said that total was “up tremendously” — about 80 percent from the year before.

Second was paper, such as mixed paper, newspaper and junk mail. In 2013, a total of 206.8 tons of paper was recycled. That’s up more than 30 percent from 2012.

“That’s a lot of paper,” Mills said.

Plastic was the third most recycled material last year. The total amount for #1 to #7 plastic containers and materials, including plastic bottles, was 35.8 tons. Compared to the previous year, that’s up more than 40 percent.

Glass was fourth on the list. For items such as glass bottles, pop bottles, jars, as well as glass on windows and doors, 12.8 tons were recycled in 2013. Mills reported that was a 20-percent increase from 2012.

Steel cans, like cans containing vegetables and soups, as well as for items like air fresheners, came in fifth, with Corbin Recycling getting 6.2 tons last year. That’s up 20 percent from the year before.

Wrapping up the list are aluminum cans. In 2013, a total of 2.5 tons were recycled, also up 20 percent from 2012.

Along with more people recycling, Mills pointed out the tools they used in the process during the past year have also improved.

“We replaced a few pieces of equipment with newer and better equipment, like the Bobcat we have that has the buckets and forks that lets us do several jobs. It also makes it easier for us to operate. We also have a horizontal baler, which lets us compact the material into one big bundle,” he said.

Six new recycling containers purchased by Corbin Recycling back in August, and paid through by grant money, also helped.

Mills said, “We have the new roll-off containers which helps a lot, because they’re bigger and they hold a lot more recyclable material. Along with those two new roll-offs, we’ve got four trailers that we’ve spread out over the city. That includes one we have here at the recycling center that people can use after hours.”

With the first month of 2014 now in full swing, his goal for this new year is for more people who live in Corbin to recycle.

Mills is also looking ahead to another weekend event that proved popular last May — “E-Cycling Saturday,” an annual tradition where people can drop off older computers, TV’s and other electronic equipment to the center for recycling.

“It’s convenient for working folks, and those who can’t come here during the week. We’ll have another one of those on a Saturday this year, and we’ll announce the date when it’s set in stone. In the meantime, they can bring their electronic equipment here on the weekdays,” he said.

The Corbin Recycling Center is located at 707 South Main Street. They’re open Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

The recycling drop-off boxes can be used anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One of the boxes is located at the Recycling Center on South Main, while the others are found at Corbin Intermediate School on 17th Street, the EKU-Corbin Center campus off the Corbin Bypass, Corbin High School, the Forest Hills Shopping Center and in the parking lot near Little Caesar’s on Master Street.

More information about recycling is available by calling the center at 280-5512.

“The people and the businesses of Corbin have done a fine job recycling last year, and they’re continuing to do a wonderful job this new year. We certainly thank them for that. We want to make Corbin cleaner and cleaner as we can, and by getting people to recycle and do it more, we can reach higher goals this year. Let’s see if we can make 2014 a better year for recycling,” Mills said.

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