Yes, we do collect trash for our residents in rural Lee County, but we do a lot more, as well!
We also provide litter pick up on rural county roads. Tommy Johnson, our Litter Control Officer, goes out 5 days a week, and, with the assistance of county jail inmates and community service workers assigned by Circuit Judge Jacob Walker. They keep our county roads free of debris. It's quite a task, but these folks pick up tons and tons of litter every year!
Then, there's our newest task...RECYCLING! For several years now, Environmental Services has been dedicated to recycling mixed paper, cardboard, #1 and 2 plastic, and scrap metal. We collect these items at businesses and at 10 of our disposal sites. Our limited experience has taught us that if you make recycling available, people will recycle.
We currently recycle newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, shredded paper, cardboard, scrap metal, and white goods (appliances). Recycling bins are located at various sites in rural Lee County. Bins for newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, shredded paper, #1 & 2 plastic, and cardboard are at District 2 Disposal Site on Alabama Highway 51, Beulah Disposal Site on Lee Road 270, Backwaters Disposal Site on Lee Road 379, Bottle Disposal Site on US Hwy 280W, 29S on US Hwy 29 south of Auburn, Motts Disposal Site on US Highway 280/431 in Smiths Station, "12" Disposal Site on Lee Road 240, and 29N on US Hwy 29 north of Opelika. By recycling, we save residents money and save space in the landfill. Recycled materials are sold, and the money is spent to keep up equipment and to buy additional recycling equipment. Our goal is to continue to build our recycling program so that we can offer recycling at all of our sites. In addition, we strive to add other items to what we currently recycle. ATTENTION: We now recycle plastic bottles. Please remove the tops and make sure the bottles are empty, then put them into a bag and leave them in the recycle bin.
In 2009, Lee County, Auburn, Opelika, and Auburn University joined to form EARP; East Alabama Recycling Partnership. We immediately applied for a grant from Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), and we received $120,000 to upgrade our individual recycling programs. With the $27,000 that the county received, we bought equipment and supplies to recycle at all 12 county schools. We recycle paper, cardboard and steel food cans from each school kitchen. The kids love our program, and we are saving the school system thousands of dollars on their trash bill. You can learn more about our partnership by going to www.eastalrecycles.org
In Fiscal Year 2009, Lee County recycled 602 tons of materials...that's 1,204,000 pounds! That's a lot, but when you consider that we disposed of 29,315 tons in the landfill, it's only 2%. We can do much better than that with your help.
Our goal is to continue to recycle as much of our solid waste as possible. That's why we've added plastics this year (2012). With your help, we will continue to increase the amount we recycle.