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An accomplishment that Washington County Solid Waste Coordinator George Ann Palmer will proudly point out is that Washington County is the top recycling county in the state.
However, she said there is still room for the county to be a more efficient recycler in the future.
“We have three areas in the county, in Willisburg, Mackville and Frederickstown, and of course we have the site (in Springfield).” she said. “We feel like we’ve got a lot of the county covered, but not as much as we would like. As we continue to grow, we will continue to expand.”
Palmer said recycling particularly cuts back on oil usage. Citing that more than 100 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic products each year, and recycling those plastics could cut that production back by two-thirds.
There are other benefits to recycling as well. There is a financial benefit to recycling that should entice local businesses and individuals to recycle more.
“It reduces landfill disposal. It provides cost savings for industries in our area, and in Nelson and Marion counties. It provides employment to our local economy. It develops partnerships with surrounding counties, industries and (commercial businesses),” Palmer said. “Recycling does a lot more than save our natural resources, it helps everybody.”
This year has been another year of solid recycling numbers for the county. There have been 210,598 pounds of mixed paper, 547,644 pounds of glass, 36,144 pounds of metal cans and 67,087 pounds of plastic recycled in Washington County in 2011 as of Nov. 18.
E-scrap recycling has recently taken a step forward in Washington County. Palmer said a new program has begun with C&Z -- a Louisville-based company -- to process e-scrap in the county for the first time.
“It’s in it’s infancy, but we hope by spring to have that in full-bloom, where we are doing it all right here in Washington County,” she said. “That will provide jobs and income to the county to help support recycling.”
Palmer said she would like to see the program create 10 jobs to start. With the amount of processing that will need to be done, there could be additional job openings in the future.
E-scrap includes all computer parts (keyboard, mouse, monitor, motherboard, etc.), printers, copiers, microwave ovens, cell phones, fax machines, televisions, iPods, etc.